|Clayton County Parks and Rec. Director Detrick Stafford addresses attendees|
It should be noted that the time table for completion is a long way off. Many of the trails around metro Atlanta were started decades ago and only a fraction of the proposed trails have been completed. However, construction in each Clayton County district will start with an initial trail segment between 1.4 miles and 3.3 miles in length. The initial 3.3 mile trail segment for District 4, all of which is confined to the International Park, Reid Stephens Park, and Lake Spivey Golf Club, should be completed by the end of 2015.
The Int'l Park trails will probably destroy what's left of the much neglected and little used mountain biking trail.
The trails are indicated by the yellow dashes.
Ultimately, I hope these trails will connect to the more popular trail that have been in use for some time, i.e. the Atlanta BeltLine, Silver Comet Trail (SCT), and Panola Mountain Trail. I should say that I don't think the plan is perfect. If one compares the Clayton plan to any of the previously mentioned trails it seems most similar to Panola Mountain. The SCT is a straight, flat, point-to-point trail. The Atlanta BeltLine is an urban trail bordered by high density neighborhoods and restaurants. The Clayton County trails don't seem to have either of these features. There was no mention of businesses abutting the trails at the public meeting. Only the Panola Mountain trails meandered aimlessly with no clear destination and no real business opportunities, that I've seen. That said, it's a good first start to improving the quality of life for Clayton County residents. I can't wait until it's done.
As a final note, I'd like to thank the Clayton County Board of Commissioners for moving forward with this plan. The partnership with the Path Foundation was first proposed in 2008 in the Clayton County Parks and Recreation Department Master Plan. It has taken 6 years to get this far. I remember vividly years ago when District 4 Commissioner Edmondson mentioned a county trail system to me. I thought it was a pipe dream but, maybe I was wrong.
Thanks for reading.