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Trails at Euchee Creek will be extended

Trail sights, proximity keep residents on the move

Posted: Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Some people pound the pavement to burn calories. Others prefer a leisurely stroll to take in the sights.

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Diane McShane travels around the Memorial Gardens Walking Track twice each day to accomplish both.

The picturesque one-third mile track, which surrounds the pond behind the Columbia County Library off Evans Town Center Boulevard, is apart of the Evans resident's morning jog. She returns each afternoon to walk her dogs.

"It's so pretty here," McShane said. "It's a bit of calm in such a congested area."

Columbia County offers many walking trails for public enjoyment.

"There's been a shift (within government) to build more passive recreation and utilize some of these walking trails," Columbia County landscape architect Preston Duffie said.

Other popular walking trails include one that parallels Evans to Locks Road, the Euchee Creek Trails, a trail at Goodale Park in Grovetown, and the cross country track at Blanchard Woods Park.

For the people who use the Evans to Locks Road trail, scenery is a big attraction.

"It's a really good multi-active place to ride or walk and the scenery is nice," Chad Scott said.

Sara Leoni also likes the Evans to Locks Road trail that leads to the Augusta Canal headgates.

"It's a good distance, about five miles, and it's safe," Leoni said.

That paved trail connects to the popular dirt towpath along the Augusta Canal.

Blanchard Woods Park offers pedestrians 3K, 5K or 10K courses, Duffie said.

"It's a natural surface (that) goes around the park," he said.

For some, proximity is the main reason they use one of the county's walking trails.

"I like coming here because it is close to home and a more level track," Cindy Reese said while walking at Goodale Park.

Another attraction for Reese is that the 1/3-mile track is short.

"Anything bigger than this I feel like I'm not getting anywhere," she said.

The Euchee Creek trails on Harlem-Grovetown Road are another place where area residents can enjoy walking and biking.

The trails at Euchee Creek are being extended and will one day meet up with Patriots Park.

The county is seeking funding for the expansion of its Euchee Creek Greenway. Duffie said officials have applied for two grants totaling $225,000 to start the first construction phase, which will be a four-mile loop at Patriots Park winding through Bartram Trail.

Should the county receive the grant, construction might start in early 2010, Duffie said.

The second phase of the project will extend the trail from Patriots Park to Chamblin Road, following Euchee Creek. The final phase will connect the Euchee Creek Greenway with the Euchee Creek trails.



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