INFINITY’s possum walk adds tram tours
Published 7:00 am Friday, June 17, 2016
The INFINITY Science Center in Pearlington, Mississippi has lots to offer like a NASA exhibit, science center, boardwalks and a Possum Walk Trail to educate people on the local Mississippi ecosystems.
The Possum Walk Trail opened its six-mile trail in April for pedestrians and bicyclists to enjoy. Recently, INFINITY started tram tours, which take visitors through the majority of the trail, educating participants of the tour about local plants and wildlife they would naturally see in Mississippi.
John Dumoulin, director of strategic planning at INFINITY, described the tram tours as “extremely comfortable” and “beats pedaling all around the trail.”
What makes the trail so significant, Dumoulin said, is the history behind it. Also, the Possum Walk Trail is the first few miles of what will be a 100-mile heritage trail, exposing how natives in the 1850’s used to ship lumber in and out of the area.
“The tour is a great interpretive experience with a master naturalist educating participants about the ecosystems and wildlife habitats of local plants and animals. It is a fun and interesting experience for people of all ages,” said Dumoulin.
He also said that participants could see snakes, alligators, hogs, possums and raccoons at a safe distance while touring the trail.
“During this educational experience, one could learn about things that can be seen in their neighborhoods or in their backyards like congongrass. Not many people know this but congongrass came from Japan and is indestructible. There is so much to learn about the environment and it all is very entertaining,” said Dumoulin.
In the past, INFINITY had bicycle rentals for people who wished to bike the trail, but stopped as of recently. INFINITY still allows people to bring their own bicycles and ride the trail.
Those that wish to walk will have more access to the trail, as the trams are not able to go over the boardwalk to Logtown yet, Dumoulin said.
“We are working on allowing access to all of the walking trail for the tram tour but as of now the trams turn around at the possum walk heritage foundation, where the old sawmills used to be located,” said Dumoulin.
On foot, people could walk through the boardwalk and over the swampy areas to find the boat launch natives used to load lumber onto barges, Dumoulin said. The lumber industry was a thriving business in the area in the late 19th century.
The Possum Walk Trail contains a large amount of history that can either be taught or dug out of the ground, Dumoulin said.
“There are actually artifacts that can be found in the ground of the foundation of the historic trail. There is so much history in this area, which makes it so intriguing. Our master naturalist still reports finding artifacts like old bottles and things of that nature,” said Dumoulin.
The six-mile tram tour lasts 45 minutes from Monday through Saturday and start at the beginning of every hour from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission can be bought at the front desk at the INFINITY Science Center and is $5 for adults, $4 for military members and seniors and $3 for children and groups of 20 or more. The trail closes during hunting season, which is from October to February.
For pedestrians and bikers, admission to the trail is free and is open until dusk. People who wish to walk the trail after 4:00 p.m. will have to use the entrance at Logtown because the INFINITY parking lot closes at that time.