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  • Trails and Open Space

  • The Athens-Clarke County Leisure Services Department

  • Athens-Clarke County Unified Government

  • Impacts

    Trails and Open Space

    I walked across the east campus bridge and up the east campus connector to Waffle House. I forgot the Lexington Hwy trailhead was closed for construction, but I managed to make my way across to the Firefly trail. I followed Firefly down to the ramp at Peter St, then followed Poplar across Oak St and took the Greenway down through the Cemetery back to east campus.

    Even though the temperatures were pretty mild for this time of year (mid 80s) and there was a nice breeze, there weren't a lot of people out on the trail.

    I picked up about 1 grocery bag of trash.

    Gave 1.25 hours on 06/09/2024 with Athens-Clarke County Unified Government
    Trails and Open Space

    I hiked Cook's Trail and Oxbow Loop. It was hot and humid but there was a nice breeze. I did pick up a few items of trash, but the trail was fairly clean. The trail reroute around that fallen tree looks good. You already know about the tree down by the double bridge, so I'm not reporting that. I'm glad the trail was in good enough shape that I could finally do the whole trail again!

    I encountered someone with a dog off-leash and let him know county ordinance requires dogs to be leashed at all times. I saw him again on the way back up to Sandy Creek Park and the dog was on a leash that time.

    I've attached some photos of maintenance issues.
    1) There is a dead tree on the edge of the trail with bark falling off that probably needs to be cut before it falls on its own.
    2) The double bridge needs some repairs. There are a couple boards that have worked loose and are sticking up.
    3) Towards the beginning of Oxbow Loop, there is some vegetation encroachment.
    4) There is a small tree across the Oxbow Loop that is a trip hazard.
    5) I think I reported this before, but part of the long boardwalk on Oxbow Loop has a bunch of boards that are broken/rotted/missing. It was marked with orange tape and I added red tape on it to alert other trail ambassadors it had already been reported.
    6) Coming from Oxbow Loop back up Cook's Trail, there is a thick muscadine vine across the trail that is a trip hazard. It got taken down when a tree fell across Sandy Creek.

    Gave 2.00 hours on 06/06/2024 with Athens-Clarke County Unified Government
    GivePulse profile picture of Trails and Open Space Trails and Open Space  1 week ago
    Good eye Mark! The boardwalk on Ox-bow is something I want to remove. We know about the bridge boards, however, our maintenance staff is down a position and they are busy with swimming pools. I did spray the corridor this week so the grass growing in the trail should get better soon. Thanks for your report. Cooks is one of the least used, yet hardest to maintain trails we have. I can get wild and wooly out there.

    This Impact is private

    This Impact is private

    Saturday Trail Work

    Gave 1.50 hours on 05/25/2024
    GivePulse profile picture of Trails and Open Space Trails and Open Space  3 weeks ago
    Great job today Mark. I have enjoyed this project!
    GivePulse profile picture of Trails and Open Space Trails and Open Space  3 weeks ago
    Everyone including myself has enjoyed this project. I think we will have one or two more sessions out there. The work looks fantastic! Re-cuts seem like a good fit for summer trail work. We can start and stop without impacting trail use. It is tough to commit to a big project in the heat and humidity.
    Trails and Open Space

    I walked the Greenway from East Campus connector bridge to the Bailey St trailhead, then back to the Carriage Ln trailhead, going down Carriage Ln to the Carrs Creek trailhead and back to East Campus connector.

    The weather was a bit warm, but there were quite a few people using the trail including a large bicycle group ride. I encountered a ratsnake on the trail behind the Woodlands near the Bailey St trailhead and stopped to take a picture. It was gone when I came back the other direction. And I picked up about 2 grocery bags of trash.

    Gave 1.33 hours on 05/21/2024 with Athens-Clarke County Unified Government
    GivePulse profile picture of Trails and Open Space Trails and Open Space  3 weeks ago
    Great work Mark. See you Saturday!
    Saturday Trail Work
    Trails and Open Space

    I intended to hike Cook's Trail and Oxbow loop, but encountered multiple trees partially or completely blocking the trail. I was able to get around them by going off-trail but then encountered a large flooded area near the 1 mile mark, so I turned around. Cook's trail also has erosion issues including large holes in the trail bed from recent flooding. I recommend closing the trail beyond the Cook's Trail plaque until the flooding recedes and a full inspection can be made. There is no telling what storm damage is south of where I had to turn around.

    I decided to hike Lakeside Trail and continued to the end of Buckeye Trail where the picnic table and horse tie-up are, then turned around and followed Lakeside back down and up the new parking lot 15 connector trail. I also checked the Sandy Creek bridge while I was up that way and found another rotting board that may need to be replaced soon.

    Lakeside had multiple trees down including one thorny bush/tree that is completely blocking the trail by the stream near the intersection of where the lot 15 connector, Lakeside, and Buckeye intersect. There's a "tunnel" in the bush that people appear to be using to get through it but at risk of being caught by the thorns as I was. I moved a few large branches and smaller limbs out of the trail as well. There was one tree that was leaning across the trail and it appears dead so you may want to have someone cut that so it doesn't fall. I marked it with our red tape but it doesn't have a ACC tag on it.

    Buckeye north of where Lakeside splits to go across the Sandy Creek bridge has a small tree across the trail that makes it passable for hikers but not for horse riders. There's also a really muddy area between the bridge and the picnic table on the far north end of that trail. It appears the trail flooded. I had to go off-trail to go around it.

    I marked all the problem trees with our red tape. I've attached a zip file with photos that have GPS coordinates embedded. Apparently GivePulse has a limit on the number of attachments and errored during my original submission attempt.

    Gave 3.75 hours on 05/09/2024 with Athens-Clarke County Unified Government
    GivePulse profile picture of Trails and Open Space Trails and Open Space  1 month ago
    Thank you Mark for a very detailed report. Other Ambassadors saw your red ribbon so I did not get duplicate reports. I have staff up there today
    Trails and Open Space

    I walked the Greenway's east campus connector from the east campus bridge up to Lexington Hwy, then crossed over and followed the Firefly Trail out to the Spring Valley Rd/Winterville Rd intersection and back. I picked up about 2 1/2 to 3 grocery bags of trash along the way.

    It was definitely much warmer than it has been but there was a nice breeze most of the time. There weren't very many people on the trail and most were riding bikes. I even saw a couple on a tandem bike.

    Gave 1.50 hours on 05/05/2024 with Athens-Clarke County Unified Government
    GivePulse profile picture of Trails and Open Space Trails and Open Space  1 month ago
    Hey Mark; I have not seen a tandem bike in a while. Summer heat is on its way. Thanks for your report, just having identifiable Trail Ambassadors out in the field is important.
    Trails and Open Space

    I walked from east campus connector bridge up the hill towards Waffle House, then took the Firefly Trail to Dudley Park and circled back to take the ramp down at Poplar St. I followed Poplar across Oak St and down to Easley Mill, then through the cemetery back to east campus bridge.

    The weather was nice and lots of people were on the trails.

    I picked up about 1 bag of trash and had to inform a someone riding a scooter on the Firefly trail that no motorized vehicles are allowed. I'd suggest more/better signage about this policy at all the trail heads and places where the trails cross roads at crosswalks. The parking lot and surrounding grass at Easley Mill was probably the worst spot for trash.

    Gave 1.25 hours on 04/28/2024 with Athens-Clarke County Unified Government
    GivePulse profile picture of Trails and Open Space Trails and Open Space  1 month ago
    Thanks for your report, Mark! That sounds like a nice walk.