Opening of trail welcome center and dog park among full slate of Saturday events


New Albany residents will have the opportunity to attend a full day of events Saturday with two ribbon-cuttings, a walk, library program and car show.

Several of the events will be tied to the official season opening of Tanglefoot Trail while the car drive-in will be later in the day.

Hosted on the fourth Saturday of April and started by Rails-to-Trails Conservancy in 2013, Celebrate Trails Day is an annual spring celebration of America’s trails. The celebration encourages people throughout the country to get outside and enjoy the nation’s trail systems.

New Albany is home to the northern trailhead of the Tanglefoot Trail, Mississippi’s longest Rails-to-Trails conversion that preserves an abandoned railroad corridor, which was built in 1871. The Tanglefoot Trail is a 43.6-mile-long, 10-foot-wide paved route for bicyclists and pedestrians. In 2019, the trail was inducted into the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy’s Rail-Trail Hall of Fame.

Saturday, April 24, from 9 a.m. – noon, New Albany’s office of Community Development staff and volunteers will be sharing cookies and lemonade at the recently built Welcome Center at the Tanglefoot Trailhead, located next to the Union County Library at 219 King Street. T-shirts will be available for purchase, and anyone with a library card can borrow a bike from the Union County Library. A 9:30 a.m. ribbon-cutting will officially open the Tanglefoot Trail Trailhead for the season.

At 10 a.m., King Therapies Behavioral Solutions, with its new home located just off of the trail, Union County Library, and New Albany Main Street will host an Autism Acceptance Walk. This short, sweet walk will begin at the Trailhead Welcome Center and all are invited. The goal of this collaboration is to celebrate differences and become more inclusive of individuals with autism. Following the walk, the library staff will have crafts and stories for walk participants to enjoy.

Billye Jean Stroud, director of Community Development and Main Street, said, “The Community Development and Main Street board members encourage me and my staff to coordinate family friendly events and this weekend will be a great way to kick off spending time outdoors.”

At 1 p.m., there will be a ribbon-cutting at the New Albany Dog Park located next to the BNA Bank Tennis Complex at 505 Tallahatchie Trail. Families and their socialized dogs are welcome to come for this informal ceremony and group picture.

To close out a busy day, Pharoahs Mississippi Car Club will be set up in the lower library parking lot. Their Cruise-In will begin at 4 p.m. and, weather permitting, will be there until 8 p.m. The car show is free for spectators to attend, and there is a registration fee for people to enter their vehicles in the show. It is not required to be a member of the Pharaohs to put a car in the show, but it is preferable if cars in the show are eligible for an antique tag.

Stroud added, “In addition to great dining and shopping, outdoor spaces, and friendly people there will be lots to do in the Best Southern Small Town on Saturday, April 24, and we hope to see many of our community members and visitors out enjoying!”

For more information about any of the April 24 activities, contact New Albany’s office of Community Development at 662-534-3438 or email visitnewalbany@gmail.com.