Outdoor Recreation Leadership students from Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College’s Jackson County Campus spent the first weekend in March bicycling part of the Natchez Trace. Twelve students taking the Introduction to Bicycling class, instructed by Dr. W.T. Taylor, had been preparing for this event since January.
The students started from the Natchez State Park at the south end of the Trace and pedaled north to Raymond. Taylor said, “Over the two-day period, more than 70 miles were covered. While the physical aspects of the trip are obvious, the educational aspects may not be so obvious, but are numerous.” He added that the outdoor concepts of planning and preparation, safety, expedition behavior, and leave-no-trace were all implemented. Extra educational benefits were plentiful in the areas of geography and history, such as visiting Emerald Mound, the second-highest Indian mound in the U.S.
“Biking that many miles can be quite exhausting. But in the long term, it has everlasting effects, including the friendships created, a sense of accomplishment, and incredible stories to tell friends and family,” Taylor said.
The Outdoor Recreation Leadership program offers classes that take students to the Grand Canyon, the Rio Grande, the Florida Everglades, the Smoky Mountains and many other exciting outdoor venues. For more information, contact Taylor at (228) 522-1382.