This segment of the GreenBelt project will connect with the current trail at Lake Carroll once the dredging of the lake is completed, City Manager Casey Coleman said.
“This segment is due to be completed in early spring and it will make close to four miles of the trail that has been built,” Coleman said.
He said construction includes a restroom facility, near the parking area, being built with special purpose local option sales tax funds, using inmate labor.
“We’ve had our eye on this phase of the Carrollton GreenBelt since we began construction in 2011,” said Laura Richards, chair of Friends of Carrollton GreenBelt. “We’re excited to bring this phase online and feel it will be one of the most special sections of the GreenBelt trail network.”
Erica Studdard, executive director of Friends of Carrollton GreenBelt, said the Hobbs property where it’s located includes 100 acres of pristine wetlands and frontage on the Little Tallapoosa River.
“We’re excited about this piece of the trail,” Studdard said. “It will be one of the most used sections. People will be able to park, get on their bicycles and ride and not have to worry about having to cross roads. It’s kind of an undiscovered area near downtown, but it feels like you’re miles away from everything.”
She said funding for this segment is from private donations, with the city constructing the road and trailhead.
Coleman said the next trail segment to be built will start near Big Lots on Bankhead Highway and go to the intersection of the bypass and Cedar Street. He said the segment will eventually tie in with the log cabin welcome station and the trail that runs from the fire station to Lake Carroll.
Long-range plans call for the GreenBelt to be about 16 miles long, encircling the city of Carrollton. The 12-foot wide concrete path is designed for pedestrians and non-motorized vehicles. Trail amenities will include benches, signs and picnic areas. Once it is completed, the trail will connect existing neighborhoods with the city school campus, University of West Georgia, city parks and several commercial shopping areas.
Work began on the GreenBelt in May 2011 with the paving of about 1.3 miles of trail from the city schools to the Target store on Highway 27. This first segment cost about $1 million and was funded by grants, private donations and SPLOST funds.
The second segment of the trail, about 1.8 miles, was build from the Carrollton fire station at the intersection of Bankhead Highway and Northside Drive to Lakeshore Park on Lake Carroll. It was funded entirely by private donations.
The third segment, about 0.6 miles, connected the Hay’s Mill Road trailhead to the school property. It was paid for by private funding and a Land and Water Conservation fund grant.
The city received a $100,000 grant from Georgia Department of Natural Resources to use on the trail section near Lake Carroll. The grant was part of $2.1 million Georgia Department of Natural Resources Recreational Trail Program grants made to 19 different municipal agencies.
The Path Foundation, an Atlanta-based, nonprofit trail development organization responsible for developing the popular Silver Comet Trail, is providing technical assistance for the Carrollton GreenBelt work.
Information about Friends of Carrollton GreenBelt can be found online at www.carrolltongreenbelt.com.