Fast and fun: Trail builder putting to­gether Pin­hoti trail re-route

The Standard Journal - - LOCAL - By John Bai­ley JBai­[email protected]

Get­ting rid of in­va­sive species on a tract of land in South­ern Floyd County and North­ern Polk County is lend­ing it­self to a new op­por­tu­nity near Cave Spring.

The re­cent log­ging, meant to up­root those in­va­sive species, de­stroyed some ex­ist­ing multi-use trails on the Pin­hoti Trail near Santa Claus Moun­tain but the Ge­or­gia Pin­hoti Trail As­so­ci­a­tion called in a trail-builder with a well-known pedi­gree to create a re-route.

Barry Smith, the name­sake of the Chat­tanooga-based Barry Smith Trails, was called in to do the work. Smith is bring­ing a big rep­u­ta­tion for build­ing trail sys­tems and is known for build­ing sev­eral well known trail sys­tems in­clud­ing Rac­coon Moun­tain in Chat­tanooga.

In moun­tain bik­ing terms the Pin­hoti is gen­er­ally con­sid­ered dif­fi­cult rid­ing with lots of climb­ing but this one re-route Smith said is geared more to­ward peo­ple hav­ing fun.

“It’s go­ing to ride like En­ter­prise South (Na­ture Trails in Chat­tanooga, Ten­nessee),” Smith said. They’re putting in around 20 days worth of work cut­ting in the multi-use trails.

“Al­though this is a lin­ear trail you could build all kinds of loops,” he said look­ing around at the land. “It’s a re­ally good foot­print and you could put any kind of trail out here — flow trails, fun and fast.”

Marty Dominy of the GPTA did the de­sign on the ap­prox­i­mately three mile re-route of the trail.

The area, ap­prox­i­mately 1,000 acres owned by the Con­ser­va­tion Fund, near the Floyd/Polk bor­der is home to the trails and the sec­tion Smith is work­ing on is a re-route of a por­tion of the trail af­ter log­ging in the area.

“There are a lot of in­va­sive species, we’re go­ing to try and clean up,” Ge­or­gia Pin­hoti Trail As­so­ci­a­tion Pres­i­dent Rick Moon said. “It’s a good thing.”

The next few weeks and months we’ll work on vol­un­teer and hik­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties to help fin­ish and blaze the trail, Moon said.

Tur­key’s home

The trails are lo­cated near Ga. 100 South of Cave Spring are on a tract of land near Santa Claus Moun­tain on the bor­der of Floyd and Polk County. They are part of the 300 plus mile of the multi use Pin­hoti Trail sys­tem which stretches across North­ern Ge­or­gia and into Alabama.

Moon said the Pin­hoti is de­pen­dent on lo­cals to build and main­tain the trails.

“We re­ally are look­ing for lo­cal vol­un­teers to get in­volved with that trail — to build it, use it and love it. That’s what it needs,” Moon said. Vol­un­teers don’t just have to be lo­cal. Carter Pullen, a fresh­man at Gor­don Lee High school, and a mem­ber of the Pin­hoti Vipers Team — a mem­ber of the Na­tional In­ter­scholas­tic Cy­cling As­so­ci­a­tion mid­dle and high school moun­tain bike rac­ing league — has al­ready spent time work­ing with the trail as part of a school project.

Carter is work­ing on a Fu­ture Farm­ers of Amer­ica project which re­quires vol­un­teer­ing in the com­mu­nity.

There are busi­nesses who have made their name on be­ing lo­cated next to the Pin­hoti Trail. Moon cited Mul­berry Gap Moun­tain Bike Get­away in El­li­jay. The busi­ness, lo­cated near the trails, has cab­ins and hosts sev­eral races through­out the year which in ad­di­tion to build­ing their busi­ness also ben­e­fit the trails.

Cave Spring has been hop­ing to build a sim­i­lar re­la­tion­ship. The Trans North Ge­or­gia Ad­ven­ture bike race be­gan us­ing the trails as part of its an­nual race in 2017.

“It has a lot of value lo­cally,” Moon said.

/ Con­trib­uted

Carter Pullen is work­ing on a Fu­ture Farm­ers of Amer­ica project which re­quires vol­un­teer­ing in the com­mu­nity and will be show how healthy forestry prac­tices are es­sen­tial to the econ­omy, en­vi­ron­ment and how it over­laps with re­cre­ation to build a stronger com­mu­nity.

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