Former Everglades Chief Takes Over Natchez Trace Parkway

Tupelo, MS (AP) -- Former Everglades National Park District Ranger Allen Etheridge is settling in as the new Chief Ranger of The Natchez Trace Parkway.

The 444-mile roadway stretches from the west edge of Nashville through colorful woodlands, fields and a good deal of history on its way through Alabama to Natchez, Mississippi.

Etheridge says he loves his new job. He moved into his office in tupelo seven weeks ago, leaving behind the sprawling wetlands of the Everglades.

Etheridge was born in North Carolina, but reared in Murfreesboro. He joined the National Park Service after graduating from Middle Tennessee State University.

The trace had its heaviest use from 1785 to 1820 by the "Kaintuck" boatmen who floated the Ohio and Mississippi rivers to markets in Natchez and New Orleans. The boatmen would sell their cargo at markets, dismantle their boats, sell the lumber and begin the often deadly trek back north on foot.

Copyright 2006 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.


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