Great turnout for the East Campus Bridge dedication on September 5th. The Hodgson Wind Ensemble brass section played a piece composed by UGA student Cameron Gwynn specifically for the occasion. Prior to the ribbon cutting, Mayor Kelly Girtz spoke about the importance of connecting our community through multi-use trails. This new bridge provides an important new connection from the Greenway and Firefly trails to the UGA Campus, 5 points, and beyond. Thank you to ACC Leisure Services, the ACC Mayor and Commission, UGA, and everyone involved in this project!
Join us on Wednesday, September 4, 2019, for the Bike and Pedestrian Safety Day hosted by Auxiliary Services at the South Plaza near the Miller Learning Center from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. This event will demonstrate safe practices and provide information about walking and biking around Athens. Event highlights include safety demos, free on-site bike maintenance, and giveaways throughout the event.
We need a few volunteers to help hand out brochures and sell t-shirts. If you have an hour or so to spare to help spread the word about the Firefly Trail, please signup here to volunteer:
Residents of Oglethorpe County and others who are interested are invited to attend a Firefly Trail open house January 31 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Crawford Depot, 1158 Athens Road, Crawford. Attendees will learn about plans for the proposed 39-mile trail for non-motorized use along the historic Athens Branch of the Georgia Railroad.
Highlighting the event will be comments from Ty Houck, director of Greenways and Natural and Historic Resources in Greenville, S.C. In his position with Greenville County, Houck has had extensive involvement with the highly successful Swamp Rabbit Trail between Travelers Rest and Greenville. Also participating will be board members of Firefly Trail, Inc., a non-profit organization that works to make the Firefly Trail a reality.
Planned as a recreational and active transportation path for pedestrian, bicycle and other non-motorized uses, Firefly Trail is already under construction in Athens-Clarke County with Model Mile segments soon to be built in Winterville, Maxeys and Union Point. Funding for Firefly Trail comes from a variety of public and private sources.
When completed, the rail-trail will be a safe and family-friendly recreational resource that promises to bring health and economic benefits to the communities along the corridor.
Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. and the program will begin at 6 p.m. Refreshments will be served. For more information about the Firefly Trail, please visit www.fireflytrail.com.
John Kissane, a long-time historic preservation consultant in Northeast Georgia, has been hired to fill the newly created position of Firefly Trail Development Coordinator. In this role, John will work with communities up and down the route of the existing and proposed trail to assist with raising support and funding to complete the 39-mile walking, running and cycling path.
John brings to this position decades of experience in planning, community and government relations, writing, and project management for public- and private-sector clients. A native of Grinnell, Iowa (population about 8,500 when he was growing up there), his experience encompasses historic preservation projects in rural, small community, and urban settings in Georgia, Alabama, Iowa, Kentucky and the Carolinas.
“This position interests me for many reasons, not least of which is that I understand the tremendous benefits the completed Firefly Trail will bring to communities along the trail and to much of Northeast Georgia,” John said. “These benefits will positively impact residents of all ages, business owners, and visitors to the region.”
John has worked as an historic preservation consultant in Northeast Georgia since 1995, including preparation of National Register nominations and historic property inventories, in Athens, Gainesville, Greensboro and Washington, Ga., among others. Most recently, he served for nine years as the administrator of Hands on Athens, a volunteer-based program of the Athens Heritage Foundation that provides home repair and maintenance for low-income property owners in Athens-Clarke County.
A runner and bicyclist, John is a member of the Athens-Clarke County Rails-to-Trails Committee and a special contributor to Running Times and Runner’s World magazines. He earned his bachelor’s degree in history from Grinnell College, Iowa, a master’s degree in planning from the University of Virginia School of Architecture in Charlottesville, and completed graduate coursework in historic preservation at the University of Georgia. He and his wife, Amy, live in Athens and have two grown children.
“We are thrilled to have John on board as our trail development coordinator,” said Mark Ralston, president of Firefly Trail, Inc., a non-profit corporation created to foster development of the trail. “John has tremendous knowledge of trails. He understands the benefits they provide. And he has a real passion for the people and communities the Firefly Trail will connect. Those qualities make him the perfect person to be our trail development coordinator.”
When completed, the Firefly Trail will provide a wide, level and potentially paved 39-mile, off-road path from Athens to Union Point along the historic corridor of the Georgia Railroad Athens Branch. Designed for non-motorized transportation and recreation, the trail will enhance health, safety, tourism and economic development. The first mile of the Firefly Trail has been completed in Athens, and sections are fully or partially funded in Winterville, eastern Athens-Clarke County, Maxeys and Union Point.
Marigold Festival this Saturday!
Join us this Saturday in Winterville for the 2018 Marigold Festival. Your intrepid board members need a few volunteers to assist us at the Firefly Tent between 9 AM and 5 PM. Choose your time at Sign-UP.com. We can't do this without your help!
What portion of Firefly Trail is open now?
For the best information, see our Guide page.
All segments of the recently constructed Firefly Trail from East Broad Street to Dudley Park and Poplar Street to Old Winterville Road are now open. TSPLOST funds will be utilized to construct a crossing over Trail Creek at the Murmur Trestle. Until the Trail Creek crossing is completed, Firefly Trail users will temporarily leave the level trail and travel through a portion of Dudley Park to connect with the other Firefly Trail section.
If you're driving, parking is available at Dudley Park ("Greenway Only" spaces at the waterwheel off E Broad St. or the Poplar St. lot behind Mama's Boy), the Park & Ride lot on Oconee St/Lexington Rd at Loop 10 and the Classic Center (paid).
The North Oconee River Greenway Extension opened in April. The eastern end is located on Oconee St. between the Waffle House and the Park and Ride - and across Oconee St. from the temporary end of the Firefly Trail at Old Winterville Rd. The western end is off College Station Rd on the North Oconee Access Road near the ACC Water Reclamation Facility.
W & A Engineering (previously Williams & Associates) has donated a portion of its fees for Firefly Trail permit approval and other related work to Athens-Clarke County, Oglethorpe County, and Greene County. Firefly Trail, Inc. Vice President, Mary Cook, says, "For a property owner to allow Firefly Trail's 'linear park' to cross their land will require a great deal of trust. W & A Engineering's professional services will go a long way in securing and maintaining this trust." More information is available here.
We are incredibly pleased to welcome you to visit the Firefly Trail in downtown and East Athens. The first 1-mile segment, including a 500' bridge over the North Oconee River and a connection to the North Oconee River Greenway and Dudley Park, is now open. Check out the video from JaWaVi Films below if you missed our ribbon-cutting.
Enjoy OUR trail!
Athens to Winterville Not a Dream
To all our wonderful supporters,
To win nearly 3-to-1 is astonishing. This would not have been possible without you, our intrepid supporters who see the vision for what Athens can become.
Tremendous credit goes to the Citizens Advisory Committee for creating a top-notch TSPLOST package, to Winterville Mayor Dodd Ferrelle and his unwavering belief that Firefly Trial will bring positive economic growth and safety benefits to the burgeoning bicycle and pedestrian opportunities in Winterville, to Athens Mayor Nancy Denson and the County Commission for their support, to ACC Manager Blaine Williams for embracing the Firefly Trail and the CAC package, to Alice Kinman for her effective and non-stop leadership of the TSPLOST campaign, and to all of you for your work to open eyes and minds and to urge people to vote.
Years and years of positively promoting the Firefly Trail is a big part of why so many people want the trail, believe in the trail, and came out to support the trail. I'm so proud to be part of Firefly Trail Inc.!
President, Firefly Trail, Inc.
News on the $100,000 Union Point Recreational Trails Program award.
Firefly Trail is incredibly grateful to Scott Duvall at JaWaVi Films for his amazing volunteer work for the Firefly Trail in social media and video production! Check out our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter feeds, as well as the video below - we know you'll be impressed. Please consider bringing your video and social media needs to JaWaVi.
To share your own expertise, please contact Mary Cook.
firefly in the news
8/7/2019 The Firefly Trail Takes Wing
5/16/2019 How the Firefly Trail aims to connect communities throughout rural Georgia
2/2019 Firefly Trail is a dream come true!
4/19/17 Trail Progress Update
10/25/17 Trail Opening
3/20/19 Firefly Trail Ticket to Ride
6/30/18 Best Things with Kids in Athens
4/27/18 Firefly Discussed
11/7/17 Voters Green-Light TSPLOST
10/25/17 Trail Opening
4/14/17 GA Rep. Announces Grant
3/25/17 Ticket to Ride Recap
3/16/17 Firefly Overview and Update
2/4/17 Firefly Economic Development
Help us write the story
Got a Firefly story or image you'd like to share? Email us at email@example.com.
GIVE TO FIREFLY VIA AMAZONSMILE AND KROGER
Be sure to update your Kroger Plus to designate Firefly Trail, Inc. (Organization #BJ882) as your preferred community partner!
If you're an Amazon shopper, switch to AmazonSmile and select "Firefly Trail Inc" - Amazon will donate .5% of your purchase price. Smile has the same look and prices of the regular site, and it doesn't cost you a cent.