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The South Campus Rail Trail, formerly known as the Thacker Mountain Rail-Trail, is part of a network of trails linking the community of Oxford. This rail corridor was the site of the Buckner's Trestle train wreck in 1870, a disaster that was described at the time in Harper's Magazine.
There is possibility that the South Campus Rail Trail will someday extend to Thacker Mountain Road, up to the fire tower and out to Old Taylor Road. The trail is about 20 feet wide and has an unpaved surface. You might see the University Cross Country Team out running under the shade of the hardwood canopy, or members of the Oxford Cycling Club on their way to ride the more challenging mountain bike trails that branch off from the rail bed.
This trail has a paved sibling trail in the Oxford Depot Trail (northeast of campus), and the plan is to eventually create a trail link between the two trails. Until then, the two trails are connected by a series of bike lanes, sidewalks and University roadways. Bike lanes on Gertrude Ford Parkway connect through the roundabout to Old Taylor Road. There are bike lanes south to the light at Whirlpool Drive and beyond to Kitchenaid Drive (the old whirlpool entrance).
An alternative route (rather than the Old Taylor Bridge over Rt. 6) from the Thacker Mountain Trail to the Oxford Depot Trail is to go over the Coliseum Drive bridge (access via Front Street) to Hill Drive then Manning Way. You'll pass the indoor practice facility and track then access Getrude Ford Parkway, which has bike lanes.
Parking is available: along Chucky Mullins Drive near the trailhead, at the OPC complex on Price Street, at Stone Park, at the Depot/Ford Center Lot, and at the MDOT lot at Old Taylor Road and MS-6.
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