$1.5 million in competitive grants awarded for trails in Georgia.
The Georgia Department of Natural Resources today announced the selection of the Georgia Recreational Trails Program (RTP) grants for construction and rehabilitation of trails. Selected applicants are in the process of completing their final environmental reviews and will begin work soon, which will result in more than $1.5 million of funding to support outdoor access across the state. Grantees will partner with private and public organizations, leveraging the RTP funding into a total estimated investment of approximately $4.2 million for trail projects.
“We are excited to see these great trail projects all across Georgia because we know getting out on trails is more important than ever before,” said Mark Williams, Commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources. “These communities are investing in access to outdoor recreation, and we are happy to support them.”
The Recreational Trails Program seeks to support communities in developing recreational trails and trail-related facilities for both nonmotorized & motorized outdoor recreation. RTP funds come from the Federal Highway Trust Fund & represent an estimate of the motor fuel excise tax collected from off-highway recreational use.
The Georgia Department of Natural Resources conducts biannual grant application cycles for RTP funds. The 14 awardees were selected from 33 project proposals requesting $5.2 million. The complete list of Georgia Recreational Trails Program awards is below. For more information about RTP and these grants, visit www.gadnr.org/rtp.
2021-2022 Georgia Recreational Trails Program Selected Projects
Augusta Canal Authority - Canal Single-track Mountain Bike Trail Rehabilitation
The existing Canal Single-track Trail, developed in the 1990s, is a loop between the historic Augusta Canal and the Savannah River and approximately 2.8 miles in length. Recent dredging operations on Raes Creek and Lake Olmstead irreparably damaged about one mile of the trail. This project will rehabilitate that portion of this unique urban mountain bike trail serving the Central Savannah River Area.
Town of Braselton - Mulberry Riverwalk Rehabilitation – Phase 2
The Mulberry Riverwalk Trail, constructed in 2004, is located on the western banks of the Mulberry River. The Mulberry River has endured several major storms over time and several sections of the trail have been severely damaged by riverbanks erosion. The Town of Braselton is seeking to move forward with the Mulberry Riverbank Stabilization Program. RTP funding will allow for restoration of the damaged portions of the trail once the riverbank stabilization is complete.
City of Cedartown - Silver Comet Accessibility Improvements and Rehabilitation Project
The Silver Comet Trail (SCT) is a 61.5-mile multipurpose trail which begins just north of Atlanta and travels west until reaching the Alabama state line. The City of Cedartown’s Silver Comet Accessibility Improvements and Maintenance Project consists of two bridge replacements, rehabilitation of existing trail infrastructure, and installing new trail signage.
City of Leesburg - Central Park Recreational Trail
The City of Leesburg will rehabilitate the existing walking trail in the city’s 48-acre Central Park and add more than half a mile of new trail to that system. The trail will be built to serve both pedestrians and bicycle riders. The trail will be adjacent to public schools and one block away from Leesburg’s downtown/central business district.
City of Thomasville - Thomasville Community Trail – Phase 4
The City of Thomasville will be expanding the Thomasville Community Trail from Hansell St. along E. Washington St. and through MacIntyre Park to Clay St. This section will help to connect existing trail segments along Hansell St. and E. Jackson St. It also connects MacIntyre Park Middle School and Thomasville High School to MacIntyre Park as well as provide access to the inner loop of the Thomasville Community Trail.
Union City - Highway 29 Walking Trail
This trail for walking, trail running, and wheelchair access will provide pedestrian access to an almost 17-acre parcel of wooded public land within the city limits of Union City. The trailhead will be located along State Route 14 and the trail will provide connections to the Hwy 29 Ball Fields, The Gathering Place, and the Etris-Darnell Community Center. The new trail will end at Ronald Bridges Park and connects to its existing nature trail.
Columbus Consolidated Government - Dinglewood Park Trail
The Columbus Consolidated Government has adopted a trail masterplan to provide 65 miles of multi-use trail including new construction and connections of existing trails. The Dinglewood Park Trail is the second phase of the Midtown Connector which will create a north-south artery between the two longest trails in the existing trail network.
Bartow County - Mountain Bike Trail at Wilderness Camp Greenspace
Bartow County will construct approximately four miles of intermediate-level mountain biking trails at its Wilderness Camp Greenspace. The intermediate trails will provide a more challenging option for advanced riders and allow beginners to gradually develop their skills. This will improve recreational opportunities for existing mountain bikers, while encouraging others to explore mountain biking.
Gilmer County - Carters Lake Mountain Bike & Hiking Trail, Ridgeway Recreation Area
This project, located at Ridgeway Recreation Area, will construct three miles of new natural surface trails, consisting of one- and two-mile loops that offer intermediate and expert level mountain bike opportunities and a chance for pedestrians to take to the trails. The new trails will connect to existing old trails and logging roads. Construction of these two loops will complete the trail plan for Ridgeway Recreation Area.
Harris County - Ellerslie Park Trails
Harris County purchased 124 acres of land for park purposes and has been developing Ellerslie Park since 2018. The county will develop approximately 4,000 additional feet of dirt trails and a gravel trail head to hold at least 10-15 vehicles.
Lumpkin County - Yahoola Creek Trails
Lumpkin County will construct two additional miles of pedestrian trails as part of the existing Yahoola Creek Trails. This work will include one new pedestrian boardwalk, two new trailhead kiosks, and thirteen wayfinding signs on the Yahoola Creek Reservoir property.