Residents were so eager for the Columbus Fall Line Trace to open, they started trying to use it while still under construction, says Rick Jones, planning director for the city of Columbus. Happily, the 11-mile rail-trail in southwest Georgia opened for official use late last fall and was immediately popular.
"We have a rest stop on the trail with 90 spaces for parking, and it's completely full on the weekends," Jones says.
That rest stop, along with one other along the trail, features new buildings that house restrooms, drinking fountains, benches and retail space for bike shops and other services useful to trail-goers.
Extending from downtown Columbus to Psalmond Road in Midland, the trail offers an eclectic cross-section of the community: busy shopping areas, business districts, a medical complex, neighborhoods, the Columbus State University campus and other schools. At the northern end, a completely serene stretch under a heavy canopy of trees makes you forget you're in the city.
A connection to the beautiful and historical 15-mile Chattahoochee Riverwalk at the trail's southern end adds to its appeal. At the river, outdoor enthusiasts will soon be able to enjoy the city's whitewater course, expected to be a major tourist draw for the area.
So whether by foot, wheels or paddles, the trail is definitely one to explore.