PATH recently completed the installation of a 520 foot-long bridge over the South River with funding from the Transportation Enhancement Program administered by the Georgia DOT and matching funds from Rockdale County. Many thanks to DOT board member Robert L. Brown, and Rockdale County Special Projects Manager Andrew Hammer for their support for this project.
The latest segments of the trail to open will benefit greatly from the new Lorraine Trailhead on State Route 138 at the South River and the parking area PATH built at the Monastery on State Route 212. Trail users traveling to the Monastery may want to take advantage of the new gift shop and snack bar only steps away from the end of the trail.
We foresee a bright future for the Heritage Area and the newly completed trail. Property values will increase along the trail; an influx of visitors from Atlanta and across the nation will have a positive economic impact on the region; entrepreneurism will bring bicycle rentals and eventually a lodge to the area. Visit it now and avoid the crowds. Remember when the Silver Comet was a quiet place to ride?
Last summer, local residents were puzzled by our push to expand the parking at two of the trailheads serving the trails in the Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area (AMNHA) in southeast DeKalb County. On the first warm weekend this Spring, the expanded parking area at the Arabia Nature Center overflowed onto Klondike Road before noon (above center). The Heritage Area has been discovered by Atlantans looking for a new hiking or biking adventure.
Next month, PATH will open the last five miles of the Rockdale River Trail connecting South Rockdale Community Park to the Monastery of the Holy Spirit. Less than thirty minutes from I-285, you can park at one of many full service trailheads, and bike or hike through 6000 acres of rolling hills, woodlands, enormous rock outcroppings and secluded lakes.
In just twelve years, PATH and our partners, the Arabia Mountain Heritage Alliance, DeKalb and Rockdale Counties, the Georgia DOT, and Georgia State Parks have completed over thirty miles of trails that provide access to incredible vistas and natural wonders that rival anything this state has to offer.
We believe the trail system within the Heritage Area will become as popular as the Silver Comet over time. A trip to the Heritage Area offers more than a long, straight hike or bike ride. This trail is hilly and curvy and visits abandoned quarries, vast wetlands, and the 2200 acre Monastery of the Holy Spirit. You can hike through Panola Mountain State Park or fish at Alexander Lake. You can explore the area on one of many guided tours offered by the Davidson-Arabia Mountain Nature Preserve. Much of the trail follows the South River with seating areas overlooking noisy shoals along the river. This is much more than a biking destination!