Volunteers Create New Park Opportunities

From cutting new trails to maintaining the old, creating opportunities for hiking, biking, and paddling is always on the minds of our Friends volunteers at Chattahoochee Bend State Park in Newnan, Georgia. Looking at their 2016 accomplishments, this shows!

Last year, Friends extended the Wild Turkey Trail in a matter of months, winding around the park’s campground and day-use area. The trail now runs 4.5 miles making a wonderful path for hikers but also with the thoughtful convenience of connecting the park’s Visitor’s Center to some of the most visited areas of the park. With you in mind, we also installed guideposts and directional signage for convenience.

By spring, we held a ribbon cutting ceremony to officially open the park’s first mountain bike trail! The new trail is over three miles and a welcome feature for many guests.

Our next major project, with the help of a volunteer crew from FedEx Cares, was installing a 12-foot bridge on the Wild Turkey Trail. Thank you to FedEx Cares for your work and support!

Our largest project of the year also involved the Wild Turkey Trail. Thanks to the support and funds from our members, supporters, and donors, we built a 43-foot bridge along the Wild Turkey Trail.  Our valuable partnerships and fundraising efforts saw us through with great success! It took nearly two years of preparation before beginning work in this river flood plain area. Friends of Chattahoochee Bend paid for all the construction materials and rental equipment as well as facilitating receiving two 43-foot reclaimed beams from Vogel State Park. From start to finish, the bridge took about six weeks of construction. Today, it is used by many and is a fabulous asset to one of the most popular trails at park.

Of course, the year wouldn’t be complete without the annual River Fest and Rivers Alive cleanup workday. Not only did we raise awareness for the park during these events, but our cleanup efforts resulted in the removal of 700 pounds of trash from the Chattahoochee River! While devastating that so much litter is carelessly thrown into one of Georgia’s most beloved resources, the efforts and care of our volunteers are outstanding! We couldn’t be more proud!

Finally, we finished up 2016 with several volunteer workdays in order to clear overgrowth, clean the park and prepare for the new year ahead! We cut, blazed and cleared more of the Bobcat Trail and its connector to the Flat Rock Trail. These efforts completed two of the most ecologically diverse trails in the park system and are ready for your enjoyment. The trails at Chattahoochee Bend were created by Friends and are sustained by the valiant efforts of all of our volunteers.  Thank you for supporting our efforts with your financial and volunteer support.

We would be remiss if we didn’t thank our volunteers and supporters for making these conservation and enhancement efforts possible.  The Chattahoochee River is one of the most beloved features of the park and protecting this natural resource is at the heart of our mission here at Chattahoochee Bend. We are honored to welcome so many community members and volunteers in joining us to make a difference. Your financial and volunteer support throughout 2016 was pivotal to our success and, together, we know that 2017 will be sensational!