Houston, MS

On February 22 - 24, 2015 Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design™ convened a workshop in Houston, Mississippi, which focused on the future of the southern trailhead of the Tanglefoot Trail.

The workshop explored how to transform the trailhead into a great community public space and create a stronger connection between the trail and Houston’s downtown. By improving pedestrian and bicycle access to the Trail and creating a phased action plan for its future trail development, the Tanglefoot Trail could transform into a cultural and economic asset for the community. The Tanglefoot Trail, in Northeast Mississippi, is the longest fully built rail-trail in the state at 43.6 miles. The trail goes through seven small towns and three counties and terminates in the heart of Houston.

Houston’s workshop, hosted by the Carl Small Town Center, brought local stakeholders and public officials together to discuss the possibilities to make the trail terminus in Houston a regional and local destination. The resource team included experts in bicycle and pedestrian planning, wayfinding, and Placemaking. They were joined by four architecture students from Mississippi State University, who not only helped pull the workshop together, but also introduced some innovative tools for community input.

Post-Workshop Accomplishments: Since the workshop, the community has been working with the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) to build an exit ramp off the trail, which will make a critically needed access path to the Houston downtown. In 2016 the Carl Small Town Center was awarded the American Planning Association’s James A. Segedy Award for Outstanding Student Project for the proposed trailhead pavilion design developed as a result of the workshop. 

Read more about our workshop here.

Read our workshop notebook here.