One of the area's premier walking trails is almost ready for people to explore its scenic paths.
The Lorraine Trailhead is projected to be completed by early spring 2012.
"The Lorraine Trailhead will be one of five sections along the nature walking trail that begins at Panola Mountain Park in Dekalb County and extends all the way to the Monastery of the Holy Spirit when the entire project is completed," said Andrew Hammer, Rockdale County's special projects manager.
The Lorraine Trailhead and the 13-mile trail in Rockdale is part of the PATH Foundation network of off-road trails connecting parts of greater Atlanta for walkers, runners, cyclists and skaters. The PATH network of trails will eventually connect the Silver Comet Trail, Arabia Mountain, Rockdale County and the South River Trail.
Rockdale County purchased the property that used to be the junk car yard off of Hwy 138 and East Fairview in early 2007 with the ground breaking of the property in Dec. 2008. As soon as the grants and permits were approved, construction began immediately in Oct. 2011.
Section one of the 13-mile walking trail begins at Panola Mountain Park. Section two is at the South Rockdale Community Park. Section three is the Lorraine Trailhead and sections four and five will end at the Monastery of the Holy Spirit.
The Lorraine Trailhead is being constructed in two phases. The first phase nearing completion will include a parking lot for 41 cars, a 5 foot wide asphalt trail, a 12 foot wide concrete trail with access to the South River and two wooden overlooks of the river. The second phase of the Lorraine Trailhead will include a pavilion, a restroom and playground within the next four years. Funding for the project comes from SPLOST 2011 and a DNR grant. The construction of the Lorraine trailhead costs $608,000 with $100,000 coming from grants and the remaining $508,000 is covered by SPLOST 2011.
"I'm really excited about the trailhead and the features that will be included with more access to the South River. It's also going to be a great resource for Rockdale as well as a great beautification for the county," said Hammer.
For more information on the Lorraine Trailhead and other parks along the nature walking trail, visit www.rockdalecounty.org.