ATHENS, Ga.– A new nature trail will begin construction in Athens within the year. It’s called the Firefly Trail.

It will stretch from Athens all the way to Union Point, GA. The 39 mile trail will wind through rural areas in northeast Georgia and pass by several different cities along way. This includes Maxeys, Crawford, Woodville, and Winterville.

Funding for the trail comes from Special Local Option Sales Taxes (or SPLOST) as well as personal donations. Firefly Trail Inc has been planning this trail since before 2005. But they will begin construction on the trail in Athens within the year.

Firefly Trail Inc Vice President Mark Ralston says construction will begin soon in Athens, but for the other parts of the trail in Oglethorpe and Greene Counties, it may be a few more years before construction begins there.

One of the many expenses the Firefly Trail calls for is a $1.5 million bridge for the Athens Branch of the trail. SPLOST funds are covering this charge, but it is indicative of the sort of construction needed along the 39 miles.

Firefly Trail Inc’s next meeting will be on October 17th from six to eight p.m. at the East Athens Community Center. Clarke county community members and others that will be beneficiaries of the trail are encouraged to come learn about the plan for the trail as well as voice their opinions.

Additionally, Firefly Trail Inc holds monthly board meetings every third Thursday of each month from 3:30 – 5:00 p.m at the Northeast Georgia Regional Commission.

By Miles Moraitis


  • Show Comments (1)

  • Mark Ralston

    Thanks for the coverage, Miles! A few clarifications…
    * Athens-Clarke County Unified Government is building and will own and operate the trail from Athens to Winterville. Firefly Trail Inc. is assisting.
    * “Nature trail” usually refers to paths that are very narrow, often rugged, and usually intended only for walking or hiking. The Firefly Trail will be a multi-purpose path suitable for all types of bikes, strollers and wheelchairs, as well as walking, running and skating. In Athens, it will be paved and 14 feet wide.
    * Finally, the Oct. 17 meeting is not a Firefly Trail Board meeting. It is a public information session being hosted by Athens-Clarke County at the East Athens Community Center, 400 McKinley Dr., from 6-8 p.m. Everyone is invited. Our Board meets on the 3rd Thursday of every month. See for details. The public is welcome.

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