Lake Mineral Wells State Trailway in Texas.
Tell Us ...
In February, we asked you to tell us how a local rail-trail has improved your community:
Corey Tucker — Weatherford, Texas
A dozen or so folks got together and starting a running group in my neighborhood on the Lake Mineral Wells State Trailway. We have lost weight and will run our first marathon this month [just completed on Saturday, Feb. 27]. Our trail in Weatherford has played a huge part in that as we do our weekly long run on the pathway.
Sheila Hill-Lorenz — Gulfport, Miss.
We had a terrible loss of property during Hurricane Katrina here on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi. But since then, two bridges have been rebuilt much bigger and better: the Bay St. Louis bridge over St. Louis Bay, and the Biloxi Bay bridge connecting Biloxi and Ocean Springs on the east side of Biloxi Bay. Each are about 1.5 miles long, and they have an added area for walking and bicycling on the south side of each bridge. Many folks park at the foot and exercise across and back. There is even dedicated parking on the Biloxi and Ocean Springs sides of one bridge. It is sort of a hobby whenever I have to travel across to count the people I see. It is always more than 20, and that is early morning or mid-afternoon. I hear that in the evenings it's a much higher count.
From the west of the Bay St. Louis bridge to the east of the Biloxi Bay bridge in Ocean Springs is exactly 26 miles. It is all on the gulf, and now the governments here are finally putting a cement sidewalk along this man-made beach. It is very narrow but a start. The people love it and use it, and the local political powers can't believe how much it is used, but they see no need to improve.
We have a group just starting off and trying to form rail-trails here. Our entire community on the coast is several cities, but they all are joined closely in every way, and we do not have any areas designated as trails. Mississippi is ranked the most overweight of all 50 states every year, and yet nowhere to do any outdoor activity in this great southern area.
Scott Smith — Titusville, Fla.
The simple answer is N/A, as there are no rail-trails within 40 miles of my home. There is a great one "planned" near me, but with all the budget cutbacks now, I have no doubt I will be a very, very old man before it ever gets done. I have written my senators and congresswoman, but their priority seems to be on cars only.