Leesburg awarded state Recreation Trails Program grant

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Aug. 23 – ATLANTA – The Georgia Department of Natural Resources recently announced the selection of Georgia Recreational Trails Program grants for 14 construction and rehabilitation trails.

Among those selected for grants was the city of Leesburg.

Selected applicants are completing their final environmental reviews and will soon begin work, which will result in more than $1.5 million in funding to support outdoor access statewide. Grantees will work with private and public organizations using RTP funding for trail projects at an estimated total investment of approximately $4.2 million.

“We’re excited to see these great trail projects across Georgia because we know getting out on trails is more important than ever,” said Mark Williams, commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources, in a press release. “These communities are investing in access to outdoor recreation and we’re happy to support them.”

The Recreational Trails Program aims to assist communities in developing recreational trails and trail-related facilities for non-motorized and motorized outdoor recreation. The RTP monies come from the Federal Highway Trust Fund and represent an estimate of the fuel consumption tax collected from off-road recreational use.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources conducts bi-annual grant application cycles for RTP funds. The 14 award winners were selected from 33 project proposals that requested $5.2 million. The full 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:

– City of Leesburg – Central Park Recreational Trail: The City of Leesburg will rehabilitate the existing trail in the city’s 48-acre Central Park and add more than a half-mile of new trails to this system. The path will be built for both pedestrians and cyclists. The trail will be adjacent to public schools and one block from downtown Leesburg’s Central Business District.

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—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 is approximately 2.8 miles long . Recent dredging at Raes Creek and Lake Olmstead has damaged about a mile of the trail beyond repair. This project will rehabilitate that portion of this unique urban mountain bike trail that serves the Central Savannah River area.

– City of Braselton – Mulberry Riverwalk Rehabilitation – Phase 2: Laid out in 2004, the Mulberry Riverwalk Trail is located on the west bank of the Mulberry River. The Mulberry River has weathered several major storms over time and several sections of the trail have been severely damaged by riverbank erosion. The City of Braselton is committed to moving forward with the Mulberry Riverbank Stabilization Program. The RTP funding will allow the damaged parts of the trail to be restored once river bank stabilization is complete.

– City of Cedartown – Silver Comet Accessibility Improvement and Rehabilitation Project: The Silver Comet Trail is a 61.5-mile multi-use trail that begins north of Atlanta and heads west until it reaches the Alabama state line. The City of Cedartown’s Silver Comet Accessibility Improvement and Maintenance Project consists of replacing two bridges, repairing existing trail infrastructure, and installing new trail signage.

– City of Thomasville – Thomasville Community Trail – Phase 4: The City of Thomasville will extend the Thomasville Community Trail from Hansell Street along East Washington Street and through MacIntyre Park to Clay Street. This section will help connect existing trail sections along Hansell Street and East Jackson Street. It also connects MacIntyre Park Middle School and Thomasville High School to MacIntyre Park and provides access to the inner loop of the Thomasville Community Trail.

– Union City – Highway 29 Walking Trail: This hiking, trail running and wheelchair accessible trail will provide pedestrian access to nearly 17 acres of wooded public land within the city limits of Union City. The trail start point will be along State Route 14 and the trail will provide connections to Highway 29 Ball Fields, The Gathering Place and the Etris-Darnell Community Center. The new trail will terminate at Ronald Bridges Park and connect to his existing nature trail.

—Columbus Consolidated Government — Dinglewood Park Trail: The Columbus Consolidated Government has adopted a trail master plan to provide 65 miles of multipurpose trail, including new construction and connections to existing trails. The Dinglewood Park Trail is the second phase of the Midtown Connector, which will create a north-south connection between the two longest trails in the existing trail network.

Bartow County Mountain Bike Trail at Wilderness Camp Greenspace: Bartow County will create approximately four miles of moderate mountain bike trails at its Wilderness Camp Greenspace. The intermediate trails offer a more challenging option for intermediate riders and allow beginners to gradually develop their skills. This will increase recreational opportunities for existing mountain bikers and encourage others to explore mountain biking.

– Gilmer County – Carter’s Lake Mountain Bike & Hiking Trail, Ridgeway Recreation Area: This project, located in the Ridgeway Recreation Area, will build three miles of new natural surface trails consisting of one and two mile loops spanning intermediate and advanced levels offer mountain bike opportunities and a chance for pedestrians to hit the trails. The new paths will be connected to existing old paths and forest roads. The construction of these two loops will complete the route plan for the Ridgeway Recreation Area.

—Harris County — Ellerslie Park Trails: Harris County acquired 124 acres of land for park purposes and has been developing Ellerslie Park since 2018. The county will add approximately 4,000 additional feet of dirt trails and a gravel trail head for at least 10-15 vehicles.

– Lumpkin County – Yahoola Creek Trails: Lumpkin County will create two additional miles of pedestrian walkways as part of the existing Yahoola Creek Trails. This work includes a new pedestrian boardwalk, two new kiosks at the trailhead and 13 signposts on the Yahoola Creek Reservoir property.