Tanglefoot brings Illinois couple to Houston

Houston hosted some of the first riders of Tanglefoot Trail Sept. 23, after the trail opened the previous weekend. Tim and Liz Dorgan, of Glenellen, Ill., were riding the Natchez Trace and spent the night in Houston to cycle the Trail Monday morning. (Photo Floyd Ingram)

HOUSTON – Tim and Liz Dorgan may have been the first to officially cycle the Tanglefoot Trail and it brought them to Houston last week for supper, cycling, a good night's sleep and little shopping.

The Dorgans are on a fall trek of the Natchez Trace and made a special trip to Houston last week to cycle the Tanglefoot Trail on Monday, after it officially opened Saturday, Sept. 21.

“It was beautiful and we loved the hard surface,” said Tim. “We have cycled a lot of trails and most of them are crushed gravel. That's great for the runners, but it makes it a little harder to pedal for those of us on a bike.”

The Dorgans hail from Glen Ellyn – a suburb of Chicago – and said their town has a system of trails that stretches for about 75 miles across the county.

“I also like that you only have a limited amount of cross streets,” he added. “It really was a nice ride. It was clean, quiet and very relaxing.”

Tim said they ate at No Way Jose Sunday afternoon and spent the night at Bridges-Hall Manor.

The Dorgans started in Houston and spent the morning cycling the trail. Rain prompted them to cut their ride short and they were back in Houston by noon.

“I went shopping,” said Liz Dorgan. “The square is so quaint and I enjoyed the stores. There seems to be a lot of history here.”

Tim said he markets groceries in Glen Ellyn and Liz is a nurse. They have grown children and cycling has become their hobby.

“People were so friendly to us in the restaurant and they just kept bringing us so much food,” he added. “This is one of our first road trips without the kids and it has been a lot of fun.”

The Dorgans started in Nashville several days earlier and said they really don't have a set schedule.

The couple takes turns driving the Natchez Trace, parks the car and get on their bicycles to enjoy the countryside.

“Cycling is so relaxing,” said Liz. “It's not an expensive hobby, there is the exercise and you are outdoors and not in a gym on on a treadmill.”

Liz also said she felt peddling was easier on the body than walking or running.

“We met a number of people on the trail and they all waved and said hi,” said Liz. “I liked the trail because it was level and easy to ride. We had a great time.”

The Dorgans said they plan to tell their cycling buddies about the Tanglefoot Trail, Natchez Trace and Houston.

“Mississippi really is a beautiful place – even in the rain,” said Dorgan. “We really did enjoy our stay in Houston.”

The Tanglefoot Trail is a 44.5-mile asphalt bike/pedestrian path stretching from Houston to New Albany. Whistle stops along the trail have been built at Ingomar, Ecru, Algoma and Houlka.

Houston's gateway will be built north of the old railroad depot and south of where the railroad crosses U.S. Highway 8 in Houston.

Tanglefoot Trail has an estimated economic impact of as much as $4.8 million for Northeast Mississippi. The trail is expected to see up to 100,000 users each year.

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