Sally Kate Winters Park: Making West Point beautiful for 35 years

The Kitty Bryan Dill Memorial Walkway and Sally Kate Winters Park are beautiful during the spring with the wisteria blooming, making it the perfect place for a walk or run.
Staff Writer

Almost 35 years ago, Mr. and Mrs. Preston Winters purchased the property and donated the green space that came to be known as Sally Kate Winters Park.

The Winters purchased the property from the ICG Railroad and then made a gift of the park to the city of West Point, on the 125th anniversary of West Point, Sunday, June 18, 1983.

The park was given by the Winters in memory of their daughter, Sally Kate Winters, who died in a car accident April 18, 1965.

Monday, June 18, Sally Kate Winters Park will celebrate 35 years of giving the citizens of West Point a beautiful place to walk, take photos, watch children play or play host to many events over the years. The park keeps the memory of Sally Kate Winters alive, with every generation who enjoys the downtown park.

In addition to Sally Kate Winters Park, the Kitty Bryan Dill Memorial Walkway was completed in 1991, to take advantage of the scenery that twists and turns through the city for 3.75 miles.

"I usually walk in the mornings," Louise Green-White said. "There are a couple of men who walk at the same time as me. But it's been cold these past few mornings so I've been waiting until it warms up a little to walk."

White is fond of the peace and quiet that can be found along the walkway. She said she has been taking advantage of the walkway and the park for many years and plans to continue for many more.

To make the Kitty Bryan Dill Memorial Walkway a reality, local residents and businesses joined together to donate and collect funds to relocate railroad tracks that used to run through the city. The tracks were transformed into a "Rails to Trails Parkway." It extends for 3.75 miles through the town, linking a total of five local parks for community enjoyment. Each park includes lighted walkways, open areas, beautifully landscaped grounds with attractive plantings, native hardwood trees, picnic areas, and a variety of structures such as gazebos, arbors, and a windmill.

In 2005, the Kitty Dill Memorial Parkway was designated by the U.S. Department of the Interior as a National Recreational Trail.

"I've been utilizing the walkway six days a week since it was created," Joyce Pierce said. "It is just so beautiful. A lot of people use the walkway. It’s a great place to walk your dog."

Pierce said it is a wonderful tribute to the late Kitty Bryan Dill. She remarked that people will continue to remember Dill while enjoying the walkway.

"The city does a marvelous job keeping the walkway so nice," Pierce said. "It's such a beautiful memorial to a woman who was so sweet and kind to everyone."