Back in Oxford’s olden days, renowned writer William Faulkner had an enshrouded path to the University of Mississippi through the Bailey’s Woods. He drew inspiration from the Bailey’s Woods as he created the fictional Yoknapatawpha County from his “postage stamp” within Oxford and Lafayette County.
Now that summer is nearly upon Oxford, the Bailey’s Woods is flush with greenery. The way the sun shines through the leaves could lend to the imagination of the beauty of Bailey’s Woods when Faulkner trekked through to the University of Mississippi, rabbits scuttling from his path as they do this very day.
Unsurprisingly, the Bailey’s Woods has a National Recreation Trail complete with stairs and four bridges for those willing to take a 20-minute walk in Faulkner’s footsteps between the University of Mississippi Museum and the historic Rowan Oak. According to American Trails, the UM Museum is working with Michelle Obama’s health initiative, Let’s Move: Museums and Gardens.
In this partnership, schoolchildren in northern Mississippi and southwestern Tennessee enjoy walking tours through the woods from Rowan Oak to the UM Museum that end in a picnic on grounds of the Walton-Young House with a tour of the University of Mississippi campus afterwards. The UM Museum also offers walks through Bailey’s Woods as part of its summer camp and art programs.
Open since 2008, the trail can be walked on from dawn to dusk – which makes it more easily accessible during these long summer days where the sky still has light past 8 p.m. Keep in mind that bicycles and motorized vehicles aren’t allowed, but that means the trail is one of the remaining time stamps from Oxford’s past that we all can enjoy – especially with our pets.
For more information, visit the University Museum website at www.museum.olemiss.edu. The address of the museum is 412 University Avenue on the Ole Miss campus. The museum phone number is 662-915-7073.
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