March 30, 2007
Contact: Anika Mitchell Perkins
RTP grant will be used to improve nature trails at
Plymouth Bluff Center
COLUMBUS, Miss. – The experience of walking on
nature trails at the Plymouth Bluff Center will soon
be enhanced thanks to a grant funded by the Federal
Highway Commission through the Mississippi
Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks.
Mississippi University for Women recently received
notice of the approval of an application for a
Recreational Trails Program (RTP) grant of $75,000
in reimbursable funds. The grant will require some
matching funds from MUW.
According to Dr. Harry Sherman, coordinator of
public programs at the Plymouth Bluff Center, the
total length of the trail system is 3.33 miles,
including 2.45 miles of native trails and 0.88 miles
with asphalt surface.
The funds provided by the RTP grant will be used to
add a crushed limestone surface to some of the
native trail, to construct new footbridges or
boardwalks over drainage areas and to widen or
lengthen some existing footbridges and replace a
number of deteriorated crossties in the steps that
lead down to the floodplain along the river.
Trails at Plymouth Bluff are designed for short
hikes and provide access to some of the best scenery
in Lowndes County, Sherman said, adding they also
represent an outdoor classroom for school groups as
well as the general public.
The proposed improvements will include numbered
stations keyed to interpretive information in an
illustrated trail pamphlet, and new signs will
indicate directions and mileage for trail users.
“When completed, the proposed improvements to the
Plymouth Bluff trail system will provide a more
pleasant and safer walking experience for users and
facilitate routine maintenance,” Sherman said.
“Easier access will be provided for handicapped
users and for emergencies.”
Volunteer labor of adult participants in Boy Scout
Wood Badge training and other Friends of the Bluff
will provide some of the matching funds required for
the RTP grant.
The Plymouth Bluff Center has had a long association
with the Pushmataha Area Scout Council, with more
than 25 Eagle Scout Service projects along the
existing trail. These projects have included
footbridges, rest areas, steps, trail signs and rope
fences. Girl Scout units and 4-H Clubs also will be
encouraged to consider service projects at the
The Plymouth Bluff Center is operated by MUW on a
sylvan, 190-acre riverfront site, which contains an
important Cretaceous fossil. This beautiful tranquil
setting has 24 air-conditioned guest rooms,
accommodations for catered dining and a tennis
court. Specializing in environmental education, the
facility has a state-of-the-art conference center,
making it an ideal setting for retreats, workshops
and meetings. For more information, call (662)