On the outskirts of the Ole Miss campus, you can drive your car down the new connecting road to Old Taylor Road. As you drive past Highway 6, look for a line of parked cars and an opening of trees.
If you decide to stop and take a look at the scenery, you will see a continuous wide path of gravel, hosting joggers, bikers and walkers. This scenery is known throughout Oxford as Whirlpool Trails.
With six miles of the main trail stretching out and back, there are also many paths that off-road bikers or adventure-seekers can take. With so many different options for the extremely active, the trails play host to multiple groups of people that utilize them for physical activity. One group is the Ole Miss men’s and women’s cross country teams.
“It’s only a little over half a mile from the track office,” said sophomore Saga Barzowski. “It’s so convenient for us just to run over, get whatever type of training we need that day, then run back.”
Another group that uses the trails for training purposes includes the Ole Miss Reserve Officers’ Training Corps students. At certain times of the year, it is not uncommon to spot these soldiers-in-training sporting their full uniform, while walking on the main trail, or on the many small trails that run out deeper into the woods.
Families are also commonly seen on Whirlpool with strollers, dogs and young children on bicycles. Groups of college students take advantage of the close proximity to campus, while also enjoying an occasional deer sighting.
Thankfully, there are residents who continue to maintain the beauty and maintenance of Whirlpool. Whether you are parents trying to find a fun and active family outing, a nature-walker, an avid biker, a collegiate athlete, or someone who enjoys staying fit, Whirlpool services many different groups of people who venture on it everyday.
It is clear that the trails are one of the defining places in Oxford that provides a unifying place for the people of this town, and will continue to be one of Oxford’s unique attributes with the help of those who continue to keep the trails beautiful.
– Scarlett Fox