Grand opening held for new recreational area

THREE WAY, Tenn. — Middle Fork Bottoms Recreational Area is officially open.

Local leaders held a ribbon cutting Tuesday for the completion of phase one of the project.

Those that worked on the project say this has been years in the making, and they are excited to see it come to life.

“We’ve always had to say when they ask the question when it is going to be open, just had to say soon. Now we can say now,” said David Blackwood, the Director of the West Tennessee River Basin Authority.

“We now have miles of paved walking trails where people can bring their families here and be outside in nature. So it is the biggest win for the environment and people. It makes us very happy,” said Gabby Lynch, with the Tennessee Nature Conservancy.

And this project offers West Tennesseans several ways to enjoy the outdoors.

“Walkers, hikers, bikers. You can bring your kayak out here to get in the lake, but know that this is just the beginning. We have a lot in store for the future,” Blackwood said.

Lynch says along with recreational activities, the area has environmental benefits.

“It is slowing down the flood waters and allowing more of the sediments to settle here. And what that is doing is preventing all of that sand and sedimentation from getting into the Middle Fork of the Forked Deer River and blowing downstream where it affects people downstream,” Lynch said.

Phase one of the project includes five miles of walking trails, lakes for kayaking, canoeing, and paddle boarding. Blackwood says there are still more phases to add to the area.

“Phase two, which is restrooms, overlooks, we expect for 2023. Phase three, we expect by 2024. Behind me is the fishing lake, which will be officially stocked this winter after the water has got up and we have had time for vegetation to grow around the edges,” Blackwood said.

Blackwood says there will be an event called the Summer Solstice to kick off the grand opening.

It will have kayaking classes, yoga and more. You can read more here.

For updates on the area, follow them on Facebook.

Middle Fork Bottoms can be found at 111 Sanders Bluff Road in Three Way.

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