Enterprise South Nature Park to add trails, remove two-way traffic

Runners line up for the 2013 Still Hollow 1/2 Marathon at ESNP
2014 is shaping up to be a big year for Wild Trails, SORBA Chattanooga and Enterprise South Nature Park — with three projects scheduled or already underway.
First is the ongoing work to eliminate two-way traffic on the Black Forest trail. This 1/2-mile project will make the trails better and safer. Black Forest will soon be a closed loop, with entry points at Bunker 100 and the ADA Road (where the trail meets TNT). Work began in autumn 2013 along with the new connector trail from TNT to Log Rhythm, as well as the construction of several bridges. The project is in its final phase and is scheduled to be completed in the next few months, as soon as final grading and compacting is done.

The second project is a proposed new connector trail from the gravel parking lot on Poe Run Road to Bunker 100, where it will then join with Black Forest. The gravel lot is the main parking area for trail access, and the current two-way connector trail has a semi-blind corner and high-speed descent. Eliminating this two-way traffic is another safety improvement for the park. This proposed trail will be approximately .4 miles; it will parallel portions of the existing connector — with an added switchback in the pine forest behind the parking lot. There will also be a small bridge across an intermittent creek, a new kiosk at the trailhead and improved signage throughout the trail system. Construction is scheduled to begin in the next few weeks, and should be completed before spring.

The third project is the planned addition of a new trail outside the park\’s perimeter fence (along the gas pipeline and I-75). The plan is to build the first 6 miles of a proposed 15-mile system during 2014. It will be a challenging trail section with several climbs and a narrow profile. This new trail will more than double the existing singletrack system within ESNP. The proposed route has been mapped and is awaiting approval by the park superintendent.

With the current schedule there are many opportunities for trail building — especially as we head towards warmer weather and longer days in spring and summer. Look for trail work days on Meetup.com (Chattanooga Trail Runners) or contact Mike Scott.