Readers have noted the mention in the biography at the bottom of my articles: I walked more than 2,000 miles in 2022. Some have asked for suggestions on where to walk; others have asked if I walk the same paths routinely and if I get tired of it all. So, I thought a month’s break from covering Cherokee County history, to focus on another of my passions, might be well received.
If you walk as much as I do, there will be some routine. My mileage total last year literally was the distance from downtown Atlanta to Sacramento, California. Unless you undertake a trek like that, you’re going to repeat more than a few footsteps. However, you don’t have to leave Cherokee County to wear out a pair of walking shoes.
I’ve previously written about a few places close to home:
- Olde Rope Mill Park, located along Exit 9 off Interstate 575, is cherished by mountain bikers and hikers. Bikers have the right of way, but hikers are welcome, provided they walk in the opposite direction and yield to the cyclists.
- Lewis Park spans 57 acres north of Towne Lake off Bells Ferry Road. The park has a loop trail that’s a little more than a mile long. If you cross the street at the park entrance, you’ll see a small unmarked trail that leads to Allatoona Lake.
- The Pine Log Creek Trail borders Cherokee County, just outside Waleska on Highway 140. The trail spans nearly 5 miles and offers views of a rock quarry.
- The Boy Scout-maintained trails near the back of Boling Park in Canton boast more than 10 miles of footpaths. For more information, visit www.etowahhikingtrails.org/trail-system-overview.
If you missed the articles in which those trails were highlighted, visit https://townelaker.com/archives, and scroll to the 2022 March, April, June, July and August issues.
There are many more places worth the walk that I haven’t featured:
- J.B. Owens Park, located along Hickory Road, has natural and concrete trails.
- The walkway that runs through the 58-acre Etowah River Park to the 48-acre Heritage Park in Canton offers a roughly 3-mile sidewalk along the Etowah River. (See the next page for details about future connections.)
- The Blankets Creek trail system, off Sixes Road, consists of seven trails. Like Rope Mill, hikers go in the opposite direction of bikes and must give bikers the right of way at all times.
- There are miles of interconnected trails around Lake Allatoona, accessible through places such as Barnett Park and Field’s Landing Park in Canton.
If you want to extend your reach, north Georgia offers some amazing walks/hikes within a two- or three-hour drive. Some are physically challenging; others are short and accessible enough that even those with limited mobility or in need of a wheelchair can enjoy them. To find the ones that fit you, I’d suggest a little homework online. And you can always ask me via email; I’m happy to give you my opinion. (Turn to Page 20 to check out The Wanderer’s Top 14 north Georgia trails.)
Trail Connections Within Our County and Beyond
Plans to construct a trail along Bells Ferry Road are underway. County leaders are in the concept phase currently, which is expected to take about a year. Thomas & Hutton Engineering Co. was awarded the standard construction services agreement for the concept design of the Bells Ferry Multi-Use Trail. This federally funded project consists of a 3.5-mile, 10-foot-wide path along the west side of Bells Ferry Road, from the Cobb County line to Victory Drive. The project is part of the Bells Ferry widening project.
That’s not the only location where a trail connection with Cobb has been proposed. The Noonday Creek Trail, starting next to Reformation Brewery in Woodstock and winding down to Highway 92 will connect to Cobb County’s extensive trail system, tying Woodstock’s trails all the way to the Silver Comet Trail, into Atlanta and beyond. The city of Woodstock already has acquired the right of way and funding, and expects to have this connection completed in 2024.
The Woodstock City Council also has designated three tracts of land along Little River to comprise a 106-acre park site. Little River Park will be the city’s largest park, extending from Trickum Road down to the Woodlands. In addition to proposed paddle launches, boardwalks, treehouses and more, the trail system will extend the length of the park, creating significant east-west connectivity and an alternate transportation option.
In Canton, the walkway that runs from Etowah Park through Heritage Park soon will expand through what used to be Crescent Farm and reach Boling Park. Expected to be completed by the end of the year, the fully paved system of interconnected sidewalks will take parkgoers from Etowah River Park to Heritage to Boling, or vice versa, without having to cross any major roadways and — for runners — a complete 10K without ever passing the same spot.
– The Wanderer has been a resident of Cherokee County for nearly 20 years, and constantly is learning about his community on daily walks, which totaled a little more than 2,000 miles in 2022. Send questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.