National Recreation Trails Database


Trail Description Continued

Follow Faulkner's Footsteps through Yoknapatwpha:

The Bailey's Woods Trail began its life as part of William Faulkner's home in Oxford, MS. Faulkner drew inspiration for his writing from the woods, and wrote on the trail. Following his death, Bailey's Woods Trail is presently under the control of the University of Mississippi Museum and Historic Houses.

The Bailey's Woods Trail connects the University Museum at the University of Mississippi to Rowan Oak, William Faulkner's residence. The trail is approximately 3/5 mile in length, and takes an average of 20 minutes one-way on foot. The trail is open from dawn to dusk.

The University Museum and Rowan Oak primarily service the University of Mississippi, the Oxford area, the North Mississippi Hill Country, the state of Mississippi and the Southern United States, over 35 thousand visitors from 16 states and Washington, D.C. and 36 countries visited both complexes within the year.

The people of Oxford and visitors enjoy using the trail to geocache, walk or run, exercise with their pets, and observe the fall foliage. The University Museum currently participates with Michelle Obama's health initiative, Let's Move: Museums and Gardens. The Museum and Rowan Oak partners with northern Mississippi and southwestern Tennessee schools to provide walking tours, leading from Rowan Oak through the Bailey's Woods Trail to the Museum. Then the school group picnics on the grounds of the Walton-Young House and afterwards, tours the University of Mississippi's campus. At the University Museum, the afterschool art programs and summer day camp spend time on the Bailey's Woods Trail, picking up leaves for leaf rubbings or taking pictures of the trail. Several Botany and Biology classes at the University of Mississippi use the trail for field studies and surveys. The Art Department has used the trail for art installation and art inspiration.

Before 2002, the Bailey's Woods Trail was left to nature's hands. After the Museum and Rowan Oak staff believed improvements were necessary for the preservation of the woods and safety of pedestrians, changes were made. Contractors added four bridges, steps to help with steepness, and controlled for erosion. During the improvements, the contractors were careful not to harm the woods to affect its natural beauty.

The Bailey's Woods Trail is a backcountry pedestrian nature trail. Bicycles and motorized vehicles are not allowed on the trail. The trail is opened from dawn to dusk, with no seasonal closings, or visiting fees. The University of Mississippi Museum and Historic Houses hope you visit to witness great art of the past and present, walk through nature at Bailey's Woods Trail, and write your own story at Rowan Oak.


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This website provides access to the National Recreation Trail (NRT) database, a collection of information on the various trails which have been designated as NRT's. These trails are located throughout the United States and U.S. territories. The amount of information may vary from trail to trail. If you need more information than is available on this site, please use the contact(s) listed for that trail. (If no contacts, are listed, you may request help from American Trails at

The on-line database has details on the currently designated National Recreation Trails. The NRT Program online is hosted by American Trails: