GATE CITY — A mile-long trail around the Scott County Golf Course was officially opened Friday, although athletically minded Scott County residents have tried the trail out in the past couple weeks.
“Scott County Park and Golf Course is extremely proud to announce the grand opening of the one and a half mile long nature trail,” said Director of Parks and Recreation Skip Sheets. “It will connect all of Scott County Park, which includes picnic shelters, tetherball, horseshoe pits, tennis courts and the golf course. This trail is the only public nature trail in Gate City and surrounding areas of Scott County.”
The trail begins at a picnic shelter just inside the gate to the county golf course. It winds around the course, coming back in a loop that Sheets said gets the blood flowing.
The whole loop is not a flat trail, but there are some great benefits to this trail, both educational and recreational.
Sheets said 150 elementary school students were scheduled to walk the trail Friday to study the fauna and flora of the region.
It will provide an outdoor resource for teachers and a place where students can label native plants and invasive species. It will be an outdoor classroom for use by all 13 county schools, he said.
Recreationally, the trail will give another option to those who want to exercise outdoors.
“It will also be used as a practice facility for three area high schools’ cross-country teams,” Sheets said.
Construction of the trail was a lot of work but was done with a minimum of funds. Sheets said a volunteer, Jamie Lawson, ran a bulldozer to clear the trail.
“Wood chips were brought in from the Scott County Landfill by county vehicles to save cost for Scott County taxpayers,” Sheets said. “Duffield Regional Jail Authority inmates were used as well as juvenile community service workers. The Scott County Career and Technical Center refurbished several picnic tables.”
The Gate City maintenance crew and volunteer fire department also helped construct the trail, Sheets said.
“We used about $3,000 in county funds in order to open this nature trail, cross-country track, outdoor classroom and picnic shelters,” he said.