"Our state’s enthusiasm for hitting the trails and paddling the rivers is growing," said Becky Kelley, Director of the Division of Parks, Recreation and Historic Sites. "These new grants will help lay more paths to family fun and outdoor exercise."
Funding for the Recreational Trails Program is appropriated by Congress in the national highway legislation, and is overseen by the Federal Highway Administration. The DNR administers the grant program under the guidance of the Federal Highway Administration. Each year, the DNR holds a competition for the grants. Agencies of state, federal and local government are eligible to compete. Every recipient is required to match the grant by providing at least 20 percent of the cost of the project.
Canoe and kayak launches are eligible for funding, along with trails for hiking, biking, and horseback. Funding is also available for trails that accommodate motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles and off-road light trucks.
Below is a list of the new grant recipients, followed by a description of each project:
1. Augusta Canal Authority, Trailhead at Lake Olmstead
2. Bryan County, The Murphy Mile
3. City of Canton, Heritage and Boling Connector Trail
4. City of Carrollton, Greenbelt--Spur to Elementary School
5. City of Chattahoochee Hills, Cochran Mill Park Trail
6. DeKalb County, Zonolite Park Trails
7. Department of Natural Resources, A.H. Stephens State Park Trail System
8. Department of Natural Resources, Laura Walker State Park Lake Trail Extension
9. City of Euharlee, Village Historic Trail Phase II
10. Town of Lyerly, Lower Chattooga River Canoe/Kayak Trail
11. City of Madison, Founders' Trail
12. City of Ringgold, Trail of Tears
13. City of Summerville, Willow Springs Trail
14. US Forest Service, Whissenhunt Off-Highway Vehicle Trail Assessment
15. US Forest Service, Frady Branch Trail Re-route
16. US Forest Service, Houston Valley and Cohutta Motorized Trails
1. Augusta Canal Authority, Trailhead at Lake Olmstead: DNR’s recommended $100,000 grant will help to provide an official entrance, with parking and restrooms, to the Augusta Canal National Heritage Area’s towpath and historic trails.
2. Bryan County, The Murphy Mile: The County plans to build new trails and connections to existing trails at DeVaul Henderson Park. The recommended grant of $100,000 will assist with trail construction, a pedestrian bridge, interpretive signage, and access for the disabled.
3. City of Canton, Heritage and Boling Connector Trail: This recommended grant of $100,000 will be used for a project to connect two of the City’s largest parks, and provide scenic views of the Etowah River.
4. City of Carrollton, Greenbelt-Spur to Elementary School: This is the second year in a row that Carrollton has competed successfully for a trail grant. The new grant of $100,000 will assist with the Greenbelt’s spur to the City Elementary School.
5. City of Chattahoochee Hills, Cochran Mill Park Trail: The City plans to improve user-access to an existing trail system at Cochran Mill Park, and to build eight miles of new trails. DNR’s recommended grant of $100,000 will assist with these efforts.
6. DeKalb County, Zonolite Park Trails: Zonolite Park is located in west central DeKalb near its border with Fulton County. The recommended grant of $83,000 will assist in building nature trails at the park and installing educational signage.
7. Department of Natural Resources, A.H. Stephens State Park Trail System: This state park was one of the earliest to be created in the state park system, and is a favorite for horseback riding. The Department plans to build 12 miles of new trails to help accommodate equestrians and hikers. A recommended grant of $61,295 will assist with construction.
8. Department of Natural Resources, Laura Walker State Park Lake Trail Extension: A recommended grant of $100,000 will provide a trail link between two existing paths: the Lake Trail and the 1.3-mile Big Creek Nature Trail. A boardwalk extension will allow visitors to reach a portion of the park not previously accessible.
9. City of Euharlee, Village Historic Trail Phase II: The City’s unique village environment is, for the second time, the recipient of a trail grant for a multi-phase recreation project. DNR’s recommended grant of $100,000 will assist with the construction of about a mile-and-a-half of new trail.
10. Town of Lyerly, Lower Chattooga River Canoe/Kayak Trail: According to the Coosa River Basin Initiative, the Chattooga River was once heavily polluted, but is now recovered and an inviting place for paddling. DNR’s recommended grant of $99,700 will assist the Town with enhancing existing launch points and constructing an entirely new river trailhead.
11. City of Madison, Founders’ Trail: The City plans to develop greenway facilities by building a trail in the vicinity of its historic cemeteries. A recommended grant of $100,000 will assist with construction.
12. City of Ringgold, Trail of Tears: The City reports that its proposed trail will provide connections to the city park, the historic location of the 1838 Trail of Tears, and the Blueway Trail along South Chickamauga Creek. DNR has recommended a grant of $100,000 for the project.
13. City of Summerville, Willow Springs Trail: A recommended grant of $100,000 will assist with the development of a trail that will connect two of the City’s most historic resources-Willow Springs Park and the Summerville Depot.
14. US Forest Service, Whissenhunt Off-Highway Vehicle Trail Assessment: At the Whissenhunt trail system just north of Dahlonega, a recommended grant of $242,000 will assist the Forest Service in the complete and detailed assessment of existing trails’ maintenance needs, and in the performance of work to help avoid erosion and other effects on the natural resources there.
15. US Forest Service, Frady Branch Trail Re-route: Both equestrians and mountain bikers ride the Frady Branch trail system, which is near Toccoa. A recommended grant of $100,000 will assist the Forest Service in performing maintenance on the trails and building a one-mile replacement for a trail that has become unusable.
16. US Forest Service, Houston Valley and Cohutta Motorized Trails: These trails near Dalton and Chatsworth provide rugged terrain for off-road motorcycle and all-terrain-vehicle riders. A recommended grant of $78,900 will assist in the periodic heavy maintenance that is required re-shape the trails and remove fallen trees, among other things.
For more information:
Bryan K. Alexander, Trail Grant Coordinator