New recreation area under construction in Madison County

MADISON COUNTY, Tenn. — Millions of dollars are to be spent on a recreation area in Madison County, and it won’t be long before you’re able to use it.

An empty field won’t be that way for long. By next summer, it’ll be the Middle Fork Bottoms Recreation Center.

“Having something that will be really, really well-used by the community is exciting,” said West Tennessee River Basin Authority Executive Director David Blackwood.

The West Tennessee River Basin Authority introduced the project in 2017. It’s located right on the edge of northwest Madison County, Humboldt, and Three Way.

“It’s in a really good spot, where we have a lot of population that can access it,” Blackwood said.

Housing developments in Madison County are starting to make their way this direction. Some can even be seen on the other side of the tree line.

Blackwood says this 850 acre area is not ideal for that. It’s actually a 100-year floodplain. So, it’s better suited for a recreation zone.

“The primary purpose of this project is flood control. We removed some levees and opened up some flood plain that will help the City of Jackson and help downstream farmers,” Blackwood said. “The secondary purpose is recreation. We have this big, nice property that we can get out and enjoy nature. So, why not put trails on it and make it into something nice?”

He said the recreation zone will be West Tennessee’s version of Shelby Farms, with something for everyone to enjoy.

“We have a special lake that a hunting retriever club is going to use to practice their dogs and hold dog trials. Just things like that popped out that I didn’t think about,” Blackwood said.

The park will be complete with five miles of walking trails, four miles of kayak routes, and 50 acres of fishable lakes.

“It’s going to have off-road trails, ADA accessible trails. It’s going to have places you can get to to see fish and wildlife. It’s going to be really cool,” Blackwood said.

Blackwood said the first phase of the project is scheduled to be completed by July of 2021. That’s when the park will open to the public.

Categories: Local News, News