The National Park Service is working on a strategy for the future development and maintenance of the pedestrian and multi-use trail system for the entirety of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area. After working with the public and professional trail designers, the NPS has developed a set of preliminary management strategies for the trail system. Now, the NPS is seeking initial public feedback on these preliminary management strategies.
The preliminary management strategies aim to improve the physical, fiscal, and social sustainability of the trail system. Current park trails frequently follow fall-lines, which makes them susceptible to erosion and soil loss. The current system is also costly to maintain, as most of the trails the park manages were never designed or constructed but rather created by visitors. At some locations, visitors have different goals and motivations, leading to visitor use conflicts. The preliminary management strategies present several approaches to address these issues.
The preliminary management strategies include programmatic actions, which would apply parkwide, and specific trail designs for each unit. The unit specific trail designs are best understood by reading the descriptions and maps provided in the Preliminary Management Strategies document under the "Documents" tab at left.
Programmatic strategies include facilitating public access through a system of designated trailheads and trail access points. Unauthorized trails and trail access would be restored to natural conditions, and trails and key destinations would be clearly marked. Trails would be designed primarily as natural surface single track trails, while a few select locations like would have wider, hardened, and unpaved trails to provide connectivity to a proposed regional greenway. All of the park's trails would be developed to maximize accessibility to users of various abilities, and the proposed design includes an increase in fully accessible trail mileage.
Additional information on the general trail strategies and design, unit by unit trail map proposals, and the conditions the park hopes to achieve can be found in the Preliminary Management Strategies document, available for download by selecting the "Open for Comment" link to the left. In addition, please follow the link (under "Links" to the left), to the Trails Management Plan Storymap ( https://arcg.is/1PKmna
), to examine before and after trail system maps that show current conditions and proposed changes under the preliminary management strategies. The storymap also provides an option for submitting your own proposals for trails and experiences via a mapping interface.
Beth Wheeler Byrd