Earlier in the week, the USDA Forest Service announced the grand opening of the 26-mile Dry Creek Trail System in the Chattahoochee National Forest in northwest Georgia. After several years of planning, new trails were built from the ground up to create a safer, more maintainable, and ecologically sustainable trail system from an unplanned network of older trails that did not meet current trail standards. Over $448,000 in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) funds made a project of the size possible, providing a safer and more satisfying experience for horseback riders, hikers, and mountain bikers.
According to Chattahoochee-Oconee Forest Supervisor George Bain, “the success of this large trails project would not have been possible were it not for this funding and the involvement of our partners, the Georgia Pinhoti Trail Association, the Back Country Horsemen of America, and others. This partnership is a perfect example of the collaboration the forest is striving for in the management its trails program”. Five miles of old trail were closed and rehabilitated and 26 miles of new trail were surveyed, planned, and constructed.
The public is invited to a grand opening celebration on June 25, 2011. Festivities will begin at the Dry Creek Trailhead at 11AM. Refreshments will be served and free guided trail rides will be offered. To find the Dry Creek Trailhead, take Exit 320 on I-75; follow State Highway 136 west about 14 miles to Villanow, Ga. At the intersection with Highway 201, turn left onto East Armuchee Road (County Road 705) and go about 7 miles. Just past the signed Manning Mill Road, turn left onto Forest Road 226 and follow the signs to the Dry Creek Trailhead.
The Dry Creek Trail System and the connecting Pinhoti Trail are easy to moderate trails open to hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking. The large trailhead parking area accommodates horse trailers as well as passenger cars. The $5 per vehicle fee normally charged at the trailhead is being waived for the day of the grand opening.