Weekend Wheeling: Jackson, Mississippi

Forest Hill Park
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With that, I got in my car, hopped back on I-55, and headed south toward Jackson's city park, Forest Hill. Exiting onto Savanna Street, I crossed Terry Street and then continued west on McCluer Road. When the sign for the park appeared on the right after a couple of miles, I pulled into the lot across from the baseball field.

I unloaded my bike and rode off where I could see a well-worn single-track entering the pine woods at the end of the parking lot behind home plate of the baseball field. A layer of broken pine needles covered the trail's sandy surface. This was great, except where the needles were worn bare and the riding became a bit slippery—especially on curves where the sand had collected in deep piles.

I wound up riding in a counterclockwise direction, finding several loops within the main loop. It was on the mini-loops where I discovered the most technical aspects of the trail: Roots from the trees had been uncovered by thousands of other bikers. Some of them were big enough to have to hop over, and would be tricky indeed if they were wet and slick. In fact, the trail did not look like it would be very inviting after a rain. Several muddy swales showed the dried tracks of a few intrepid bikers who had slopped their way through.

I crossed a power line clearing and reentered the woods, finding several more small loops spinning off the main one. I crossed a few makeshift bridges over ditches small enough so that an experienced biker would have no problem, yet difficult enough to give a biker with less skill good reason to get off and walk.

Almost before I knew it, the five-mile ride was over and I was back at the parking lot. I reloaded my bike and powered on the cell phone to check on the machine. Fortunately, it was still running. Since the short ride had just been enough to warm me up, I left the parking lot headed for Little Colorado.


Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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Jackson Marriott
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