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Rails to Trails

Rails to trails
Location: Smith County, Tennessee

Unusual Site Constraints

Smith County officials wanted to convert an approximately 1-mile section of the defunct Nashville and Eastern Railroad between South Carthage and Gordonsville, Tennessee, to a walking trail. Unfortunately, there were some twists in the paperwork that posed some difficulties. The railroad allowed the trail to be constructed only on condition that they maintained ownership of the right-of-way. However, the right-of-way deed was worded so that if the rails were removed, the land reverted back to the original property owners. The rails would have to stay.

Trails with Rails

Barge Waggoner came up with a common-sense solution and designed new railroad ties and rail that were installed first. The asphalt paving was applied on top of the rails to provide a smooth surface for walking. We also designed trailhead features at each end with vehicle parking. Citizens of Smith County now enjoy a level, wide walking trail.