GRANVILLE, Tenn. (March 28, 2023) - The communities of Smith County, Jackson County and the “Friends of Cordell Hull Lake” dedicated Periwinkle Trail March 25, 2023, at the Indian Creek Archery Range trailhead. The newly constructed trail provides hikers a new path to experience the outdoors and creates a bond between the two counties.
Periwinkle Trail is 2.5 miles long and spans across Smith and Jackson Counties. Additional trailheads are accessible at Indian Creek Campground, and near Wildwood Resort & Marina at Highway 53. The trail experience includes a variety of fauna and flora for the public to enjoy, including wildflowers, carpets of cedar moss, and lichens.
The “Friends of Cordell Hull Lake” organized the dedication ceremony with additional help from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District, which manages public lands on the shoreline, as well as the many volunteers who blazed the new trail.
In her opening remarks, Natasha Deane, chairperson of “Friends of Cordell Hull Lake,” expressed her gratitude to the group, its board members, USACE, volunteers and the public that gets to recreate on Periwinkle Trail.
“This trail is for you to enjoy and maintain for many years to come,” said Deane.
When the Corps built Cordell Hull Dam 50 years ago, the trail crossed over farmlands and generations where several communities began. Scenic views on the trail reveals old stone fences, country roads, and an old well pipe on the creek.
Cordell Hull Lake Resource Manager Kenny Claywell voiced his appreciation for all the hard work and dedication that the Friends Group put into the Periwinkle Trail.
“My main focus for this trail is the partnership between the Corps, the Friends Group, and the communities of Smith and Jackson County,” Claywell said.
Claywell added that the origin of the trail connecting Indian Creek Campground with Wildwood Marina started when the Marina held its grand opening in 2020. Marina visitors and campground campers requested the trail and volunteers ultimately put in a lot of sweat equity in 2021 and 2022, working on National Public Lands Days and numerous days and weekends.
Claywell said, “This trail has brought together the two lease areas, USACE, and the Friends Group of Cordell Hull. It is outstanding that we were able to make this possible.”
Mayor Jeff Mason of Smith County and Mayor Randy Heady of Jackson County also spoke at the dedication, and both were very glad to be a part of the event.
Mason stressed that the power of volunteers and desire of the people can achieve many goals, and he is honored to have a trailhead in Smith County.
“It helps both of the communities of Smith County and Jackson County,” said Mason.
Mayor Randy Heady noted that he had the opportunity to witness the Friends Group begin to form in 2021 and is so excited to see how far this group has come. He said the “Friends Group of Cordell Hull Lake” will have a lot of opportunities to make similar impacts around the lake as a non-profit organization.
“I’m really glad the trail begins in Smith and ends in Jackson, that shows a true partnership that you see through the whole thing,” Heady said.
Following the dedication, ribbon cutting, and photographs marking the occasion, more than 80 people set down the path of the trail together. After the hike, Wildwood Resort & Marina supplied transportation back to the starting point to those who didn’t want to make the return hike.
Park Ranger Brad Potts said the public gave positive feedback that the trail was beautiful, a must hike, amazing, and a lot of fun!
In addition to the Periwinkle trail, Cordell Hull Lake offers a six-mile Bear Waller Gap hiking trail, 18-mile Holleman Bend Horse trail, half-mile Turkey Creek Nature trail and over six-mile Bear wheels Mountain Bike Trail for public use.
The park ranger staff plans to host another community hike in celebration of Earth Day 8 a.m. April 22 at the Bear Waller Gap hiking trail at the Defeated Creek Recreation Area Trail Head.
The Corps of Engineers park rangers at Cordell Hull Lake manage 381 miles of shoreline, which includes 22 boat-launching ramps, two campgrounds, and three recreation areas with plenty of opportunities for wildlife viewing, water sports, picnicking, hiking, fishing, biking and boating.
(The public can obtain news, updates and information from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District on the district’s website at www.lrn.usace.army.mil, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/nashvillecorps and on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/nashvillecorps. The public can also follow Cordell Hull Lake on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/cordellhulllake. Follow us on LinkedIn for the latest Nashville District employment and contracting opportunities at https://www.linkedin.com/company/u-s-army-corps-of-engineers-nashville-district.)