Plans are taking shape that would connect the two sections of the Museum Trail, Jackson’s first paved scenic pathway.
“The two sections include the one behind Belhaven and the section in front of the children’s and natural science museums,” said Dr. Clay Hayes Jr. a volunteer and advocate for the trail.
“We want to connect them under the waterworks curve by the water treatment plant. That way we won’t have to use Myrtle Street (to get from one section to the other) long term.”
Hayes spent part of a Saturday in September picking up trash along the trail and checking on other improvements.
“We are trying to decide the best areas to plant wildflowers,” he said. “The butterflies have been out pollinating.”
The 2.5-mile trail follows the abandoned GM&O Railroad from downtown Jackson through greater Belhaven and along the eastern border of LeFleur’s Bluff State Park. The rail-trail portion of the trail extends from Laurel Street to the entrance of the Mississippi’s Farmers Market on Jefferson Street.
The trail provides access to four museums and three parks: the Mississippi History Museum, Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, Mississippi Children’s Museum, Mississippi Museum of Natural Science, Belhaven Heights Park, Laurel Street Park and LeFleur’s Bluff State Park.
The Museum Trail was made possible through federal grants from the Federal Highway Administration appropriated by the Mississippi Department of Transportation and the Central Mississippi Planning and Development District, with grant dollars matched by contributions from the private sector. Organizations such as the Greater Jackson Chamber of Commerce and the Jackson Heart Foundation, along with numerous individuals and volunteers, contributed time and energy over the ten-plus year effort to reach the groundbreaking.
Neel-Schaffer served as the city’s engineering consultant and Hemphill Construction was the general contractor.