Friends of Rotary Park

This is a service provided to the users of Rotary Park in Clarksville, Montgomery County, Tennessee. It is hosted by Friends of Rotary Park, a newly formed volunteer group that is dilligently working to improve the trail network at the park. This site provides information about current, past, and future trail development.


Rotary Park is a county-owned natural park in Clarksville, Montgomery County, Tennessee. It consists of two adjoining tracts of land that make up about 95 acres of mostly undeveloped, wooded land. There is one park entrance/exit that is paved and runs to the back of the park. There are three pavilions along the roadway with the largest being at the road's end. Rotary Park has an extensive trail network and is open to hikers and bikers. The new push for extensive trail work is necessary because most trails were improperly built by ATVs and motorcycles. Motorized vehicles are now banned from the park. Furthermore, the trails are showing signs of serious erosion. Most recently, a large amount of sustainable trail located outside of the park's boundary has been taken by development. The Friends of Rotary Park is dedicated to restoring and improving the park. Those interested in joining Friends of Rotary Park can do so by contacting Chris Clark at 931-801-3898. Dues are $25.00 for a family membership.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

NO HORSES - signs soon


Recently an anonymous person posted a comment to the blog entry concerning the ban on horses. That person pointed out the fact that there is still evidence of current horse use at the park, i.e. poop! I too have seen the poop and had to avoid it while running. I contacted county officials regarding the posting of the signs informing users of the ban on horses. I have been assured that signs listing all of the new rules have been ordered but will probably not be posted until July as that is when the new budget goes into affect and that is when the signs can be purchased. However, hold your horses (pun), Stacy with Parks and Rec. is going to try to find pre-manufactured signs that say "NO HORSES" and post them at various locations in and around the park. As always, she goes above and beyond the call of duty.

Perhaps I posted the "No Horses" rule too early on the blog. I thought that I made it clear that the rule had passed but there was still some bureaucratic red tape to be navigated before the rule would go into affect. That was my fault and I take full responsibility. I just ask that everyone keep in mind that we are dealing with government and here. Everyone is working hard to make improvements but for reasons such as liability and budget, they are usually not as fast as we would like. That is not to say the officials are slow, rather the process itself is slow. Just keep in mind that this time two years ago it seemed that no progress was being made at Rotary Park. Slow progress is better than no progress.

I do appreciate the comment because it reminded me to check into the matter and also prompted me to better inform everyone. I wish more people would post comments, positive or negative, because both FORP and the county need constructive criticism to better serve the park users. Anyone who has taken the time to find this blog and comment is certainly someone who is knowledgeable about the park and a regular user. Thank you, Anonymous, for keeping us on top of things.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Another Successful Workday - Medium Loop Open

Members of Friends of Rotary Park and Tennessee Trails Association met Saturday, May 19th for yet another successful workday. Also in attendance were two new folks; thanks Ty and Scott for your hard work. We hope to see you at our next event. I would also like to thank The Bicycle Center for all of their help and support. Continued improvement at the park is an ongoing effort from multiple groups, not just FORP. Thanks to everyone for their help.

As for the work done, we were able to see the completion of yet another important goal. That is right, the yet to be named "medium loop" is now completely open for use.[1] Saturday saw the blazing of the last section of trail to tie the medium loop together. This makes two loops that are open for use, permanently sited, and ready for signage. Notice I did not use the word "completed." There is still some benching, general trail grooming, and some bridges to be built. There are also some older trails in this area needing to be closed. These will be our projects for the summer months. In the meantime, enjoy the new and improved trail network and the beginning of an easy to follow loop system.

That brings me to my next issue. One of the goals of Montgomery County and Friends of Rotary Park is to have a trail network consists of a series of "loops." In the past, the trails at Rotary Park have gone all over the place with no overall design theme. Because of this, people have gotten lost or have difficulty following a designated trail, both of which greatly effect user enjoyment. Thus, we have a need for a series of well-marked loops.

To create this new, stacked loop trail network, we have to create some new trails and close some old trails. FORP, with the county's permission and encouragement, has closed several sections of bad trail at the park. Lately, someone has reopened some of these sections of trail. Some of this we have already re-closed; some we will re-close. IF YOU SEE THAT A SECTION OF TRAIL HAS BEEN CLOSED, DO NOT CLEAR IT! IT IS CLOSED FOR A REASON. I have been using this park since I was a small child. I know how easy it is to become attached to a section of trail. I don't always like closing the sections of trail that we have closed. But, the fact of the matter is, they are fall-line trails that are causing erosion issues, mapping issues, or other problems with the park. That is why they have been closed. For the good of the park, leave them closed.

Last but not least, I want to congratulate FORP member Adam Queen for his first ever Mountain Bike win. Adam raced in the Sport 30-39 class at Canal Loop in Land Between the Lakes yesterday and won easily over the rest of the field. Adam began mountain biking at Rotary Park and still does some of his training there. Way to go, Adam.

[1] The long term plan for Rotary Park's trail network includes three main loops: one small, one medium sized, and one around the perimeter.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Workday this Saturday

Hello Friends:

I hope everyone is well. This is a reminder that there is a workday at Rotary Park this Saturday. We will meet at 8:00 a.m. in the parking lot near Pavilion III. All of the pavilions will be in use and that is why we will meet in the parking lot. We will be working to complete the medium loop and working in the area stretching from behind the playground to behind Pavilion III. Be sure to bring gloves, rakes, bow saws, loppers, etc. Don't forget water, water, and water. You also may want to bring bug repellant and anti-poison ivy cream if you have any (if it even exists).

I look forward to seeing everyone there.