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Athens, 8 Georgia counties to be linked by Firefly Trail, longest paved trail in the U.S.

Georgia Hi-Lo Trail Inc. has presented a plan to link eight counties in Georgia with a multi-use paved trail. The PATH Foundation, Kaizen Collaborative, and Georgia Hi-Lo Trail Stakeholders are guiding this project. The counties to be connected are Greene, Hancock, Washington, Johnson, Emanuel, Bulloch, Effingham, and Chatham. The project will eventually link with The Firefly Trail, creating the longest paved trail in the U.S.

Ultimately, the Firefly Trail will span 39 miles from Union Point to Athens along the the historic rail line known as the Georgia Railroad Athens Branch. Additionally, the Firefly Trail will eventually pass through the towns of Maxeys, Stephens, Crawford, Arnoldsville and Winterville in route to Athens.

The Hi-Lo Trail is projected to benefit local economies by attracting tourists and new residents. It will also provide safe walking and biking opportunities, improving community health. The trail will be open to people with disabilities, senior citizens, and families with children.

Mary Charles Howard, Executive Director of Georgia Hi-Lo Trail Inc., shared her thoughts on the project. She emphasized the 192-page plan's role in guiding the project's future phases. She noted that completing the Hi-Lo Trail will require significant work over the next 25 years.

Georgia Hi-Lo Trail, Inc. is a non-profit organization aiming to connect rural Georgia through a trail spanning eight counties. The 211-mile Hi-Lo Trail will link to the 38-mile Firefly Trail. The organization also runs the Kids Bike League and the Athens to Savannah Ride to promote its mission.

The full report on the Georgia Hi-Lo Trail plan is available on the organization's website. For more details, Mary Charles Howard, Executive Director of Georgia Hi-Lo Trail Inc., or Fonda Johnson, Communications for Georgia Hi-Lo Trail Inc., can be contacted.

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