Peaceful path and marked plants promote recreation and education
Though it hasn’t been publicized much, Nelson has developed a top notch walking trail with picnic areas ready for use and expansion plans for the future.
By Ralph O. Dennis
One of Nelson’s not so advertised park projects is the walking trail. Located south of the kiddy park and the baseball field, the trail is approximately a quarter of a mile long. The project has been going on for some time and will really never be completed (maintenance is forever).
Council member Mike Haviland has made this his project. He has worked diligently on building up rock retainers to prevent erosion in the drainage trenches along the trail and countless hours just doing stuff. The city council recently authorized construction of some new bridges over the run-off ditches. The bridges make it safe for those walking the trail. The trail has been bordered in many areas with timbers making it easier to save the mulch. The entire trail will have a layer of mulch on it to make it more comfortable for those using it.
As the project continues, there will be benches, maybe swings and other amenities for the users. At the beginning of the trail, there are currently two covered picnic areas. One of the picnic pavilions is close to the baseball field and allows those using it to see the activities on the field. The second is just a few yards from the “interior” parking area. To get to the main entrance to the trail, you drive or walk down the road that leads from the kiddy park to the baseball field but before parking there, you turn right and follow the drive. This gravel lot is in the shade and is right at the opening of one end to the trail.
Several botanists working with the County Extension Service came out and marked numerous plants along the trail. These plants have ribbons on them now but the plan is to eventually have regular markers. By doing this, the trail is now educational as well as recreational. More picnic tables might be brought into the area for use.
Like their counterparts on the north side of the county (Talking Rock), the council in Nelson is trying to bring some good outdoor use areas into play for their citizens and the citizens of the area. There is an entrance on the south end of the trail across from the entrance to Laurel Lakes subdivision. Access and use are key factors.
Before going, and there is no charge, be sure to get yourself a nice walking stick- it is a nature trail and NOT paved. Wear some insect repellant – it is in nature. Maybe take yourself a picnic or at least water………..and then explore the secret of Nelson.