Georgia Coast Rail-Trail Fact Sheet
The Georgia Coast Rail-Trail Inc. is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. The group is made up of community leaders, elected officials, and trail enthusiasts from Liberty, McIntosh, Glynn and Camden counties.
In 2007, the Coastal Regional Commission produced a feasibility study for the trail under contract to the Georgia Department of Transportation, which encourages pedestrian trails as part of its strategic plan for the state.
The Atlanta-based PATH Foundation is designing and building the trail. PATH recently completed the 60-mile Silver Comet Trail in northwest Georgia. Locally, the organization recently completed an extension to the Island-Wide Trail System on the north end of St. Simons Island for the St. Simons Land Trust and Glynn County.
The Georgia Coast Rail-Trail will be a 10’-wide multi-purpose trail extending 68 miles from Kingsland to Riceboro. The first 3.5-mile segment, at White Oak in Camden County, was opened in June 2010. The city of Woodbine had previously built a trail on a 1.5-mile stretch of the railroad bed some two miles south of the White Oak section. An additional 1.25-mile section beginning at the south end of the paved Woodbine trail was opened to hikers and mountain bikers in June 2011. At the same time, the Woodbine trail officially became part of the Georgia Coast Rail-Trail, bringing the portion of the rail-trail open to the public to 6.25 miles – all in Camden County.
The trail will provide multiple access points in each county, free parking at trailheads, benches, rest rooms, and overlooks with interpretive signage. It will be accessible to parents with strollers and to the disabled.
The trail is being built on an existing, raised railroad bed, once owned by CSX Transportation, formerly known as Seaboard Coast Line. It will travel through the western portions of Camden, Glynn, McIntosh and Liberty counties.
Some 10 miles inland, the trail will wind through unspoiled coastal marshland, habitat to a high diversity of native species. It will take cyclists, hikers and joggers through saw grass and forests. It will cross 43 rivers, tidal creeks, and streams – including the Crooked, Little Satilla, Satilla, and Altamaha rivers. It will cross the Altamaha on century-old railroad trestles at Altamaha Regional Park in Glynn County.
Note: Until negotiations have been completed with current landowners, the trail is open to the public only on clearly marked sections in Camden County.
The trail is being built in segments over a number of years. The first segment in Camden County was completed in spring 2010.
To raise funds, the Georgia Coast Rail-Trail offers memberships. The organization is also seeking public and private funding.
The Georgia Coast Rail-Trail will offer coastal residents and visitors a healthy outdoor adventure, access to an unspoiled ecological system, and exceptional educational opportunities.
Quality of life benefits include family recreation, nature education, jogging, a place to bike away from traffic, and physical fitness opportunities.
Economic rewards include opportunities for new businesses along the trail, a boost for existing businesses, higher property values, and increased tourism throughout coastal Georgia.