Hikers should prepare for a leisurely walk following the rustic trail along the Forked Deer River. The 2012 hike will be led by Mark Lofton of the Dyer County Union Mission, who uses the trail often with the Mission Boy Scout Troop for exercise and exploring.
"While this is only a small portion of the planned 26-mile trail system, the annual River Park Hike is a reminder that the development on the Forked Deer River continues," said Dyersburg/Dyer County Chamber of Commerce Director of Downtown Development Steve Guttery.
Guttery said those participating in the hike are treated to new views each year as projects planned and completed by the community are completed.
"Hikers last year saw the completion of the Mississippi River Corridor-Tennessee's floating canoe dock," said Guttery. "This year, we'll be looking at the area chosen by Pioneering Healthy Communities and the YMCA for a bike/walking trail on the Ragan Levee."
Hikers will also get a view of the MRCT's River Center, set to be completed at the Downtown River Park in the coming year. The River Center will be a classroom and meeting area. The space is designed to be everything from a biology learning lab to a facility offering kayak rentals.
"We have partnered with city and county governments, MRCT, YMCA and the National Park Service to provide a River Park with walking trails, bike trails and scenic overlooks of the Forked Deer River," said Guttery. "Our dream of people walking a track near the Farmers Market and stopping for a picnic lunch will eventually be realized. People really do connect with the river so to help keep these projects alive, we take a hike every year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. We hope you'll join us."
Those interested in more information may contact Steve Guttery at 285-3433.