Thursday, Oct 11, 2012
Natchez Trace Parkway hosted over 500 visitors during its “Trailfest on the Trace” festival on September 29th. Funded by the National Park Foundation’s “America’s Best Idea” grant, the event was held in partnership with Bike Walk Mississippi, a non-profit organization based in Jackson, Mississippi.
Melody Moody, Bike Walk Mississippi’s executive director, organized a selection of live music and children’s activities for park visitors. Interpretive rangers oversaw the “Boatman’s Discovery Trail” activities, which highlighted the significance of the 19th century “boatman” of the Old Natchez Trace.
Children ran, walked, and hopped like a frog as they completed the interactive activities on a section of the park’s 7.1-mile-long multi-use trail. A “Junior Boatman” booklet was developed and distributed to visitors to encourage future physical activity on the park’s almost 100 miles of hiking trails.
Three prize drawings were held throughout the day, with prizes such as discovery packs, books, field guides, binoculars, and magnifying glasses to promote park exploration. A local bicycle company, Indian Cycles, worked with the park to provide three children’s bicycles as grand prizes. The grand prize winners were all local children who plan to use their new bicycles on the multi-use trail.
Staff from visitor and resource protection, facility management, and interpretation and education worked with Bike Walk Mississippi to provide a safe, fun, educational event.