One of the oldest trails in the Jacksonville Woodlands, the Sarah Zigler Trail at about .66 mile is one of the oldest, and certainly most popular, Woodland’s trail. It parallels Highway 238 and follows Jackson Creek, the site of much of early Jacksonville’s gold mining.
Sarah Mary Plymale , age 13, arrived in Jacksonville in 1852. At age 15 Sarah married gold miner and local businessman, Lewis Henry Zigler. More of their story may be read on the poster at the beginning of the Sarah Zigler Trail, but it is interesting to note that Sarah purchased 8 acres of land that encompasses the trail from Peter Britt in 1878 for one dollar.
The exact origin of the trail itself is not known. It may be a combination of miner’s trails, horse travel or deer trails. What is certain is that for the past few years it has become extremely muddy and slippery during the winter months. The City of Jacksonville and the Jacksonville Woodlands Association (JWA) recently partnered to come to the rescue, and visitors will find a much-improved hiking experience. Exposed was pipe removed, drainage slopes were created, trail was widened, erosion control is in place and the entire trail has been spread with decomposed granite.
Getting the trail ready for granite spreading was a long, tedious process taken care of by Jacksonville’s remarkable public works employees. They are to be commended for this huge effort. Then, the final day and a half of wheelbarrowing and raking decomposed granite was accomplished by an amazing and eclectic group of JWA board members, Jacksonville Boosters, Jacksonville Public Works and Jackson County Community Justice team. Tiring work that was balanced by laughter, pride of success and new friendships made possible by the organization and energy of Jacksonville’s new Operations Manager, Tony Thompson. We invite to get out for a spring walk on Sarah Zigler’s newly improved trail.