BRUCE, Miss. (WTVA) — Dr. Jimmy Gage Dobbs is a cycling enthusiast. He would like nothing more than to have an opportunity to ride on a converted railroad line from Bruce to Coffeeville.
He believes it would compliment the Tanglefoot Trail, a similar project under construction from New Albany to Houston.
However, a funding source has yet to be found for the project involving Calhoun and Yalobusha counties.
"I'm excited for the trail going from New Albany to Houston," Dr. Dobbs said. "I'm excited that we have access now to the trail bed, and I think over time we'll procure funding and we'll see it through,"
In December 2011, supervisors in the two counties voted to establish the Mississippi Skuna Valley Rails-to-Trails Recreational District.
This was to preserve an abandoned railroad corridor and its right-of-way for use as a multi-use recreational trail known as the Skuna Valley Trail.
"I think it would be awesome," Reverend Jon Haimes said. "It would be good for Calhoun County. It would be good for Bruce, Calhoun City and other surrounding cities. It would be good for tourism as people come to see the good folks of Calhoun County. My opinion is this is the best place on earth."
"I think it would be good," Ricky Hall said. "I think anytime you bring tourism or any money to the town, I think it would a good thing."
"If we have more people, they will stay and eat if more people come to Bruce," Sawmill Motel and Restaurant Manager Joy Cabatuen said.
Citizens from Calhoun and Yalobusha counties have been working to make the trail happen, but they have not found a funding source, according to Calhoun County Board of Supervisors President Barney Wade.
"Nothing is really planned for it for the future unless something comes up with funding because there's no funding for it right now," Wade said. "If there's funding available down the road, then we might do something, but right now, it's mainly economic development for the future."
It remains to be seen if there would be enough tourism dollars to cover the cost of maintenance for the 21-mile stretch of rail bed.
Maintenance costs would have to be split by the two counties.
The railroad line was formerly owned by the Mississippi and Skuna Railroad.
It used the line to transport timber from Bruce to the Illinois Central Railroad. From there, it was shipped across the country.