Tanglefoot Trail, Mississippi’s longest rail-trail, meanders 44.5 miles through the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in the Mississippi Hills National Heritage Area.
The trail preserves the abandoned railroad corridor assembled in part for the Gulf and Ship Island Railroad by Col. William C. Falkner beginning in 1871. He was the great-grandfather of Nobel-Prize-winning author William Faulkner.
As the trail winds through three counties—Chickasaw, Pontotoc, and Union—it offers views of mature hardwood forests; trees draped in the vines of kudzu; fields of cotton and soybeans; pastures; and wetlands. Along the way, the asphalt pathway connects six communities—New Albany, Ecru, Pontotoc, Algoma, New Houlka, and Houston—which offer pleasant places to rest, eat, and shop.
Tanglefoot Trail has four “whistle stop” facilities that provide parking, restrooms, water fountains, bike racks, benches, and picnic tables. From north to south, the whistle stops are located in Ingomar, Ecru, Algoma, and New Houlka.
Parking is also currently available at the locations of two future trailhead facilities: one at the north end of the trail in New Albany and the other at the trail’s southern end in Houston. A future gateway location located mid-trail in Pontotoc provides parking as well. When complete, these three trail access points will have pavilion areas with restrooms, water, benches, picnic tables, and informational kiosks. All are located in the downtown areas of each town.