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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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Oglethorpe County will do whatever they can to make money…just ask the landfill committees over the years. They allowed Clarke county to dump on Oglethorpe County land (basically in people’s back yards) in exchange for money. Then there’s the sludge dumping too. If you think Oglethorpe county gives a damn about their residents, you’re gonna be in for a big surprise 😂😂

Replying to

I know they’ve been cohorts for more than 30 years. My father was on the landfill committee when Clarke county promised no more expansion. Then Nancy Denson went behind and did it anyway.

Let me ask you how much trash 15,000 make compared to 150,000? If you don’t see the problem, then you’re part of the problem. Oglethorpe county took money instead of looking out for the property owners and their land nearby. It stinks like hell over there now and property values have declined. Thanks Oglethorpe County and Nancy Denson.


The Winterville subdivision /residents are not happy what has been done to them and their input ignored on the yet to be unfinished part in Clark County. Going into Oglethorpe would cut through people's back yards. Speak up now.

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ACC has chosen a flawed route for section 3 of the Trail into Winterville. They have so far refused tr\o reconsider their decision which was based on in correct and incomplete cost estimates (they has STILL never even given an estimate for a significant portion of the construction cost), biased public input based on both deliberately falsified online surveys and in person surveys which never informed the people voting as to what they were voting for, and false claims about safety of the proposed routes. They've also never given any consideration to the usefulness of the route to the entire community. And when asked to reconsider the only answer we get is , "It's too late to change, the r…


 the Firefly Trail part is very nice to walk on in Winterville. That being said, when Georgia Hi-Lo Trail, Inc. is a non-profit organization expands into Oglethorpe County, it should be prepared to do it w/o any taxpayer funding. Oglethorpe County does NOT have the tax $$ base for it and $$ still needs to spent on paving roads, supporting local fire depts., etc before it. The Hi-Lo Trail is projected to benefit local economies and I don't see that part happening, just see sparse events held in Clark County. Oglethorpe better not take away land like Clark County did and lied to its citizens about not going to ever do it. Otherwise, pay your own way and happy trails.

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