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.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Lost Wheel


Thank you so much for letting us know about the lost wheel. I received a call about it last night. The wheel belongs to one of our members. If you did not get my e-mail, call me at 801-3898 and I will give you the information on who it belongs to and how to contact him. You are awesome for being honest and going to such lengths to find out who it belonged to.


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Project Updates

Next Workday - August 4th, 8:00 a.m.
Meet in the middle parking lot next to the creek and close to Pavilion II. Look for my red Ford Ranger with topper and bike rack.

Andrew Johnson – Eagle Scout
Andrew Johnson has been planning his Eagle Scout project at Rotary Park for quite sometime. The past two weekends saw that planning spring into action. Approximately twenty Boy Scouts worked feverously to complete a variety of tasks on the Blue Bird Loop across from Pavilion I. The most noticeable of these is the installation of a new bridge connecting Pavilion I to the trailhead across the street. As you all know, the drain running along side the road is shallow but very steep. Andrew used engineering standards provided by the International Mountain Bike Association to design and construct a twelve-foot long bridge making it a synch to cross the drain. The construction is out of this world. Andrew used all treated lumber donated by Home Depot for the footers, stringers, and support beams. The footers were embedded into concrete and the supports and stringers were attached using industrial grade lag bolts, instead of just wood screws. The decking is composite and is sure to withstand the test of time. This bridge sets new standards for construction for all future trail features.

Andrew and his pack also installed a beautiful, rustic, wood-post fence inside the wood-line at this trailhead. The fence separates two sections of the Blue Bird Loop where the trail switches back on itself. This should prevent people from shortcutting the trail and user-made fall-line trails from appearing. Like the bridge, the fence posts are treated and embedded in two feet of concrete. It should withstand the test of time and provide us with years of enjoyment. Andrew and crew also groomed the top leg of that section of trail. Andrew is well deserving of his Eagle Socut rank.

The signs have been ordered! It seems like I have been talking about these signs forever. We had to wait until the new fiscal budget was passed to see if the money would be there, and it was. The signs are being built by Wood Product Signs ( Yes, this is the same company that makes the signs for the U.S. Forest Service and the National Park Service. The signs will be constructed of recycled plastic. The signs are brown with the 2" letters routed and shown in white. Where the feds usually use a 1" to 1 ½" letters for their trail signs, we are using a 2" letter. Also, the color in which each trail is blazed will appear by the trail name.

The Red Cedar Loop (small) and the Blue Bird Loop (medium) will be signed first. Since the White Oak Loop (large loop) is not completed yet, signs for it have not been ordered.

White Oak Loop
Speaking of the White Oak Loop, I have flagged several sections to be built. I took yesterday off and worked in the park on one of those sections for approximately five hours. This trail, and in particular this section, will showcase some of the best scenery the park has to offer. So where is this section of trail? Good luck finding it. It is well hidden in a secret location, only to be revealed upon completion. To my knowledge, there has never been any trail in this area of the park. Also, I did not start the build from any current trail. I began building in an isolated section of woods. I want the trail to be near completion before it is connected. This way, when it is finally connected, it will be ready for use. I cannot wait for this section to be opened; I'm shooting for October but I will need a lot of help.

And with "help" in mind, we need another workday. Lets have a workday on August 4th. I need everyone who can make it there to bench trail. This will be our main task. I will also need people with chainsaws there, as we will be working in an area hit hard by the tornado. Everyone bring your Maddox and drink lots of coffee or other preferred energy drink. You will need it. Please bring a friend. Bring two or three. If we can get 20 people there we can have this thing knocked out. Mountain bikers, I'm calling on you to step up. We really need a big showing here. On the positive side, this section of trail is really quite amazing and has a spectacular view of the creek. If I were to compare it to another trail in the area, it is very similar to some sections at LBL's Canal Loop. I look forward to seeing everyone.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Welcome, Jason!


Thanks for the message. We are happy to have you hear in Clarksville and glad you like the work we have done. Don't let the recent shooting scare you, Clarksville really is a great place to live. Please e-mail me directly so I can get your contact information. Perhaps we can meet for a mtb ride sooner or later. If not, I hope to see you at the next workday, which I should post tomorrow.

Also, when you e-mail your contact info, let me know what other outdoor sports you like and I'll try to suggest local places to shop or play. We have a great rock cliff owned by the rock climbing club and great places for flat water kyaking. Be sure to check out the Bicycle Center of Clarksville and North Cumberland Outfitters, both are great supporters of our group.


Monday, July 02, 2007

Update and News


Workday Recap
Thanks to all that participated in last Saturday's workday at the park. For those who were unable to attend, we got a great deal done in a couple areas of the park. For starters, we closed off several fall line trails located under the playground. All of these trails were experiencing erosion in varying degrees and needed to be closed. We first tilled the soil with a garden tiller so that new vegetation would be able to take root. We moved topsoil into some areas where the topsoil had eroded away in order to improve the chance that new vegetation will take hold. As David Adkins used his chainsaw to cut fallen trees left by the tornado, other volunteers used the branches and trunks to cover and block the old fall line trails in a manner that will significantly slow the effects of erosion. The only trail left open in that area is now the Bluebird Loop (medium loop). Signage is needed to direct users to the restrooms at the bottom of the hill. That should minimize the creation of unauthorized social trails such as the ones we closed.

We also benched and groomed the trail-tread on the newest section of trail on the Red Cedar Loop (small loop) in the BP easement. The trail runs parallel with the old trail and is only a few hundred feet long. However, its creation was needed to move the trail uphill from the soggy area where it was. Also, the old trail was straight and flat, causing it to be boring and hold water. Not only was it relocated uphill, it was given slight turns to create grade reversals so that water will sheet over and drain from the trail. It also has a flowing shape consistent with the rest of the trail. A small portion of this new trail still needs to be benched but will be done soon.

A special thanks to Judith Tate and Suva Batin for providing lunch (I hope I did not forget anyone), it was delicious.

Total volunteers: 9
Total volunteer hours: 26

Independent Maintenance
For those of you who maybe can't make the workdays but would like to volunteer to do maintenance during the week, there are some projects you can do. Trimming vegetation back from the trails is always needed, especially in the areas such as the easements that get a lot of sunlight. You can use your gas trimmer (Weed-Eater), shears, or loppers to accomplish this. Also, we did not complete the benching on the new section of trail discussed above, feel free to help out by completing this if you have experience benching trail. Just try to match your work to the work already done and remember to maintain about 5% outslope for drainage.

I continue to notice more and more people using the park and the trails. I think that there are three things to attribute to this: 1) Stacy Goodwin and the county making the park a priority; 2) the Sheriff's deputies being more visible within the park at all hours of the day; and 3) the great work done by FORP on the trails and trying to keep the park clean. I encourage everyone to keep up the good work.

Running Off the Unwanted
Speaking of safety, it is no secret that there are some individuals who come to the park with illegal and/or improper intentions. You know who I'm talking about! I have found that people who are in the park for improper purposes do not like for the legitimate users to talk to them; they would rather be invisible (except to those with whom they associate). I have started parking close to these individuals, speaking to them, and making them aware that we see them. THEY DO NOT LIKE IT. In fact, many have left the park after I parked near them or just said, "hello, how are you today." I encourage everyone to take measures such as these to discourage illegal or improper activities in the park. Always be polite and never do anything that would jeopordize your safety (or your manhood), but if we just say "hello" and let them know that we see them, I think they will eventually leave. My favorite is parking behind them and commenting on their car: "Nice car, I haven't seen one like that here before." or "I see you have Virginia tags, what brings you to our park here in Tennessee." They will not stick around, promise.