Article by W. Clay Crook-
The special guests for the June 15, 2021, meeting of the Lexington Rotary Club were Chris Hill and Greg Taylor from Natchez Trace State Park.
Hiking is one of the favorite uses at Natchez Trace Park and you may notice that some of the timber is being harvested. Some of this is to control fungus or other infestations among the ten thousand acres in the park, and to keep the different tracks healthy. There is joint management of the forested area with the Tennessee Division of Forestry and other departments as well, like the Tennessee Division of Wildlife. “We want the area to be a one stop adventure area,” he said where fishing, hiking, boating, and target ranges can all be enjoyed. Improvements are moving forward with all the areas, and volunteers are encouraged, especially for trail cleaning.
On fishing, “Go ahead and keep your small bass catches,” Chris said. Catch and release used to be the rule of thumb but taking a few small bass home to eat will help keep the rest of the stock healthy. Pontoon rides, historical events, and the Heritage Breakfast are just a few of the different things that the public can enjoy besides the common hiking and fishing.
The different divisions at the park are also trying to unify the rules and regulations to make the park more user friendly. “What you do on one segment of the park under Forestry may not be a legal use fifty feet away on an area controlled by another segment. We want people to be able to use the park without having to worry about conflicting regulations.”
A lot of what rangers do from day-to-day deals with customer service, as there are the lakes, the cabins at various areas, and the hotel at Pin Oak, “So it’s just not all work in the woods, much of it deals with improving quality service.” One of the improvements Chris would like to see is expanding Wi-Fi into the camp areas, as that is often…
For complete coverage, see the June 16th edition of The Lexington Progress.