Concrete for a 0.6-mile segment was poured last week along Lakeshore Drive near Lake Carroll and is undergoing finishing touches. Another quarter-mile segment is being prepared from the Hay’s Mill Road trailhead, along Buffalo Creek, to link up with paved trail near the Carrollton schools. These two segments will bring the total paved trail up to just over 3.5 miles.
“We hope to have both these segments completed around the first of October, in time to have a ribbon cutting,” said Erica Studdard, executive director of Friends of Carrollton GreenBelt, an organization created to assist the city with planning and developing the trail system. “Once the city finishes the dredging project at Lake Carroll, we’ll cross Stewart Street and go through the Hobbs property with the trail.”
Long-range plans call for the GreenBelt to be about 16 miles long, encircling the city of Carrollton. The 12-foot wide concrete path will be designed for pedestrians and non-motorized vehicles. Trail amenities will include benches, signs and picnic areas.
The entire loop around the city should be completed within five years, Studdard said, and additional spur trails will later connect various downtown sites into the loop.
Work on the GreenBelt began in May 2011, with the paving of 1.3 miles near the city schools and to the parking lot of the Target store on Highway 27. This first segment cost about $1 million and was funded by grants, private donations and SPLOST funds. The current paving near Hay’s Mill Road will connect with this initial segment.
The second segment of the trail, about 1.8 miles, was built from the Carrollton Fire Station on Northside Drive to Lakeshore Park. It was funded entirely by private donations.
The city of Carrollton received a $100,000 grant from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources for use on the GreenBelt section near Lake Carroll. The grant was part of the recent $2.1 million in DNR Recreational Trails 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 GreenBelt work.
Information about Friends of Carrollton GreenBelt can be found online at www.carrolltongreenbelt.com.