LINC Updates, Art Unveiling, Interview with Scott Chahalis, and Upcoming Events

Interview with Scott Chahalis, LINC Sculpture Donor Concurrent Metamorphosis II

We had the chance to speak with Scott and Tammy Chahalis–the wonderful donors who made the LINC Sculpture project “Concurrent Metamorphosis II” a reality!

When asked about their involvement in the LINC sculpture project, Scott said, “the journey began when we were looking to make a contribution or a donation within the community.”

Both Scott and his wife Tammy saw the LINC and loved what this project would do for the Newnan community. Scott talked about how the LINC is an asset for all the nearby communities. He said, “Everyone can walk or bicycle you know, with easy access and parking. They come from all over Newnan and Coweta County and from Peachtree City and Fayette County too.”

Scott contacted Chris Rothermel about the sculpture project. Scott told us about reaching out to Chris. He said, “wow, this is really, really interesting. And he was a professor at the time, I think, over at SCAD. So I contacted him out of the blue and I said, Wow, I really like your art.”

Scott Chahalis told Chris all about the LINC sculpture project. Chris was extremely interested in the project, which led to many conversations with LINC about the scope and location of the sculpture. Scott said he “stepped away and let the art develop and [gave] the artists space […] to go ahead and do it.”

Scott Chahalis is the president of Blickle USA Division, but through our conversation, Scott clarified the donation was a personal project. He said, “the donation was made personally by my wife Tammy and I. We wanted to give back to the community, but we also here at Blickle Love the company here in the US. It’ a German based company […] and they have a great history of giving back[…] The Blickle family is always giving back.”

Scott shared insight into the journey of bringing the LINC sculpture to life. He said, “this was all pre-COVID when we would have these meetings and of course, from inspiration to reality is a journey and it’s really the artist’s journey. So we had a lot of delays due to COVID”

We asked Scott to share his thoughts on the sculpture. He said, “It’s remarkable […] it’s overwhelming when you walk on LINC and then you start to see […] a series of art pieces forming to me, almost like a snake […] paralleling the path for the LINC. […] it gives me joy to see it.”

Scott shared his thoughts on the importance of art. He said, “the hope has always been for the LINC from my perspective was that this piece by Chris would inspire other individuals within the community, other companies within the community to continue with this journey to transform the LINC into really an outdoor art museum.”

Scott spoke on how the LINC art projects will inspire the community. He said, “we could have something really remarkable here and we could highlight local artists. We can highlight all different types of art. And it’s for everybody who walks on the LINC. […] Art is beauty and it’s also inspiring. And the hope is that in the world, in which we live, it’s just one thing to focus on positively.”

Scott expressed how important the LINC and this community are to him and his wife. He said,
“Tammy and I were delighted to do this. We love our community and we’re all members in this
amazing community. And hopefully we can continue with this progress and this vision for LINC.”

Anticipation 2022 Unveiling

We had a wonderful unveiling of recent University of West Georgia graduate Kelli Cadena’s art installation–Anticipation 2022.

This unveiling was a huge success, and we strive to continue celebrating art within the LINC.

This amazing piece was modeled after historic patterns of the R.D. Cole Manufacturing Company, and you can see it on the LINC–near Newnan Crossings Blvd and Summerlin Blvd.

This sculpture was created using raw materials contributed by Bonnell Aluminum.

We cannot thank our donors enough for helping us bring the work of talented artists into the LINC, so our Newnan community can feel the power of art every day.

Anticipation 2022 was made possible by The Hollis Trust and the City of Newnan. We can’t wait for more members of our Newnan community to see this breathtaking sculpture.

Upcoming Events

Don’t forget about Ready, Set ..Linc!

Do you want to hang out and celebrate the LINC with good music, vendors, and all your LINC friends? Well, Ready, Set…LINC is the perfect event for you! Our Ready, Set…LINC event has been a wild success the past few years, and we cannot wait to see all of you at the next one.

This event is perfect for the whole family, so remember to save the date, so you don’t miss out in 2023.

Make your plans today to join us April 21st for Ready, Set…LINC! We can’t wait to have fun and celebrate the LINC with our Newnan friends once again!

Help Support the LINC

Do you love the LINC and want to support our future endeavors to connect and create a wonderful community for recreation and socialization?

Concurrent Metamorphosis II Dedication Ceremony

Parks Avery–chairman of the Friends of the LINC–introduced artist Chris Rothermel and donor Scott Chahalis to begin the dedication of this beautiful public art installation. 

Newnan Mayor Keith Brady was in attendance and praised the LINC and the determination that went into this beautiful project, and expressed the importance of the LINC, which was perfectly exemplified when a LINC user walked the trail–even in the rain–before the dedication ceremony began. 

Chris Rothermel highlighted the importance of bringing art into public spaces. He shared how much he values this experience and having the chance to work on an initiative to spread art throughout the community here in Newnan–and looks forward to seeing the future art pieces his sculpture: Concurrent Metamorphosis II will influence and inspire in Newnan.

Dedication Ceremony Continued

Jim Thomasson spoke about the importance of the LINC and this art initiative to the city of Newnan, including how he hopes to see many more projects like this throughout the LINC. 

Parks Avery expressed how important Kim Learnard was to the formation of the LINC and this project before she became the mayor of Peachtree City. This art initiative would not be here without Kim Learnard’s previous role as the director of the LINC–and starting this wonderful project. 

The dedication ceremony was a successful event, even with the less-than-ideal weather, but everyone involved with this beautiful, inspiring project came together to celebrate and talk about why they love the LINC so much. 

Upcoming Events

Don’t forget about Ready, Set ..Linc!

The LINC is a wonderful addition to the Newnan Community–and once again, we will organize a fun event for the whole family sharing all the great things you can do on the LINC. 

Make sure to keep April 21st on your calendar, so you can attend our upcoming Ready, Set, LINC event! 

We will keep you updated with news about this exciting upcoming event. 

Help Support the LINC

Do you love the LINC and want to support our future endeavors to connect and create a wonderful community for recreation and socialization?

Public Art Installation Update

Public Art Installation on the LINC

The public art installation entitled, “Concurrent Metamorphosis #1” created for the LINC by Sculptor Chris Rothermel and his team of artists at CRLG Architecture and Planning is now installed on the LINC. The sculpture and its associated parts were delivered to the site and installed over a four-day period. Even rainfall during assembly did not hold the team back.

Chris Rothermel’s piece explores a passion for art through the use of stone and glass elements, and we hope will bring a unique public art experience to those who walk the LINC trail. Ribbon cutting and dedication ceremony details below.

Get Outside!

Now that the weather is cooler, there is no better time to get feet, paws, and bikes on the LINC. The CDC has a great page on the health benefits of walking trails: HERE

Upcoming Events

Ribbon Cutting and Dedication Ceremony: November 15th

Please join us on November 15, 2022 at 2 pm for the LINC sculpture’s official ribbon cutting and dedication ceremony.

Howl-O-Ween: October 22nd 

We hope your entire family, including your fur kids, will join us this Saturday, October 22nd for the Howl-O-Ween pet parade and costume contest at CJ Smith Park. Make sure to dress up your fur kids for the annual costume contest. Looking forward to seeing everyone there!

Help Support the LINC

Do you love the LINC and want to support our future endeavors to connect and create a wonderful community for recreation and socialization?

Sculpture Inteviews & Howl-O-Ween Updates

Stone Sculpture Interviews and Updates

We interviewed Chris Rothermel, Bob Godfrey, Anna Knight, and Wesley Maddox about their experiences with the LINC sculpture project as well as touring the CRLG studio. Here are some excerpts from these interviews. Make sure to look out for the full interviews, which will be published at a later date. 

Chris Rothermel shared how his sculpture studio came to be: “we developed this company to address larger scale public art pieces. We did a piece in Atlanta, midtown Atlanta last year that kind of kicked off the sculpture practice.”

Chris Rothermel expressed his joy in working with these materials: “I’ve been working with stone and glass in particular for about 20 years now, and I’ve always enjoyed the contrast between the luminescence of white marble in contrast to the illuminated glass part.”

We spoke with Wesley Maddox, sculptor major at La Grange College about the LINC sculpture project.

Wesley discussed the learning experiences that came from working on this project: “it was my first time using a lot of power tools and a lot of like chisels and learning how to use different muscles and different parts and tools for sculpture.

Wesley discussed how valuable it was to work on this project: “being an art student and getting out there and getting work is just such a difficult thing these days. And to have a hand in something like this is just a wonderful opportunity.”

Interview With Anna Knight of CRLG

We spoke with Anna Knight: Executive Administrator for CRLG sculpture practice. 

Anna shared her role in the LINC sculpture project: “My role at the LG and sculpture practice is to be the executive administrator.”

Anna expressed her interest in seeing more art along the LINC: “I just think once the sculptures are installed on the LINC, I hope that other artists will also be contracted to do more work and hopefully the sculpture practice will be able to add some more art in the future.”

Interview with Bob Godfrey of CRLG

We also spoke with Bob Godfrey: Chris Rothermel’s assistant. 

Bob shared what he loves about working with CRLG sculpture practice: “I love the challenge of what I’m able to able to do with CRLG sculpture practice. It’s always a learning experience. There’s so many challenges and it’s a personal accomplishment to continually learn and and conquer task.”

Bob Godfrey can’t wait for LINC users to enjoy the sculptures when the project is finished: “It’s going to be very gratifying to see the end result and see how much users of the LINC enjoy our work.”

LINC Announcements

Sculptor Chris Rothermel Press Release

We are pleased to share this press release for our sculpture LINC project with the masterful sculptor Chris Rothermel.

Please follow the link to read the full press release and learn even more about Newnan’s journey to showcasing art and making the city a destination for lovers of art as well as nature.

Upcoming Events

Don’t forget about Howl-O-Ween!

The spooky season is upon us and we cannot wait to celebrate Halloween in a fun and unique way! Our Howl-O-Ween pet parade and costume contest is going to be amazing! We can’t wait to see everyone show up with their pets in Halloween costumes.

Halloween is a wonderful time and our furry friends deserve a chance to celebrate with us! Our Howl-O-Ween event is coming October 22nd and we want to make sure the event is as memorable as possible.

We are currently looking for vendors and sponsors for this exciting event! If you are interested in sponsoring our event or being a vendor during the festivities, please click the flyer to sign up as a vendor or sponsor today!

Help Support the LINC

Do you love the LINC and want to support our future endeavors to connect and create a wonderful community for recreation and socialization?

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Our ribbon cutting ceremony was a huge success and begins the next step for the LINC. The LINC is embarking on new adventures to bring Newnan together through connecting our beautiful community. 

Mayor Keith Brady spoke at the ribbon cutting ceremony sharing the importance of the LINC and this newest addition to the LINC trail system. Mayor Brady greeted everyone who turned up for the ribbon cutting and shared his support for the entire team that helped make the LINC a reality. 

The Ribbon cutting ceremony was attended by many frequent visitors to the LINC as well as many people who helped plan and create the LINC. 

The ribbon cutting was a major success, and the friends of the LINC came out to support this momentous occasion. This ceremony points toward the future of the LINC and the importance of these trail systems for our Newnan community.

Jim Qualls Interview

We spoke to exercise coach and LINC user Jim Qualls about the LINC and how you can get around Newnan on the extensive trail pathways.

Qualls offered advice on the best places to enter the LINC.

Qualls said,, “Here at the east end of the link trail, where it goes into Summer
Grove is a great place for many people to enter the link. And you can
ride from here all the way into downtown Newnan. And of course, a
great thing to do now is to go across 85. When you get up there,
that’s lots of fun.”

Qualls said, “A lot of people park at the Newnan Center and the Don Nixon Center in those parking lots. […] It’s a great place to access the path from there.”

The LINC is great for anyone. Qualls said, “It’s a lot of fun and adventure as much as you want or as little as you want. […] it’s very popular with dog walkers and you’ll notice that they have scattered all along the way some facilities to help you clean up after your dog.”

Do you want to enjoy your local community when you have some time to spare? Qualls shares how the LINC is a great way to take a break around Newnan. Qualls said, “All along the LINC,

there are various places to stop and take a break. Some nice folks have donated benches.”

Do you want to start walking more? The journey might feel long, but the LINC can make walking fun for you. Qualls said, “It’s a great place to stop in the shade. Take a break, have a drink, maybe visit with somebody you know, and it breaks it up for you if you need to do that.”

The LINC makes it easy to keep Newnan clean when you enjoy everything your city has to offer including the beauty of nature. Qualls said, “the LINC has numerous places to throw your trash away and to recycle and it’s a great way to keep the place clean. Take some pride in and do our part. Also on the link path, there’s every kind of Georgia wildlife you can think of.”

The hustle and bustle of a busy life can make you think it’s impossible to enjoy the little things, but the LINC makes sure wildlife and nature is easily accessible to all of Newnan. Qualls said, “enjoy the sounds of nature, the sights of the different birds especially. […] there are deer; pretty much every kind of wildlife that’s in Georgia is here […] you will see some of it as you walk the

LINC.”

Do you want a break from your busy day? The LINC is the perfect opportunity to make this dream a reality. Jim Qualls wants to share his own love for the LINC with all of you. Qualls said, “I recommend that you tune in to nature, listen to the birds, see them, stop at the creeks,

on the bridges and look down the creek and see what you see. We were just hearing a hawk over our heads a minute ago and it’s very relaxing to get away from it all and enjoy the outdoors.”

Are you ever nervous to walk because you don’t know the area well enough? The LINC is here to help. Qualls said this about the accessibility and ease of using the LINC: “the LINC is very well marked, telling you which way to go. Where to go. Different places. You’ll notice also that there [are] tunnel[s] here […]. So you can miss the traffic.”

Jim Qualls enjoys using the LINC and he encourages everyone in Newnan and nearby communities to get out and use this valuable resource.

Mural Update

We have an update to share regarding the beautiful new additions to the LINC: John Christian’s mural–honoring the history of Newnan–within the tunnel under Greison Trail. 

Due to recent flooding, city engineers are in the process of designing additional structures for this tunnel to combat the present flooding–and limit more flooding in the future.

We will remain on schedule for the mural to be completed by December 2022. Thank you for your help and support for all our LINC projects.

Major Milestone

After the ribbon cutting, we achieved a major milestone for the LINC! 

The bridge connecting sections of the LINC is now officially installed. The bridge was delivered fully built on a 100-foot truck and was installed to complete the LINC circuit. 

The entire circuit of the LINC is not officially complete, but we are one step closer to paving the complete LINC trail section. With this bridge installed, our last step is to pave remaining graded portions of this section of the path. 

Our main truck-trail connecting the East side of Newnan with Downtown Newnan for all its citizens and visitors is almost completed and we owe so much to all our loyal supporters and friends. 

Announcements

Come join us for an event fun for the whole family–including pets! Howl-O-Ween! This amazing Halloween event will include costume contests for your pets! Make sure to bring your family along to celebrate Halloween with your Newnan community. 

More details will be announced soon, so keep on the lookout. 

Howl-O-Ween will be October 30th at CJ Smith Park. Mark this date on your calendar as more details become available. You don’t want to miss this!

Help Support the LINC

Do you love the LINC and want to support our future endeavors to connect and create a wonderful community for recreation and socialization?

Interview with LINC User and Exercise Coach

The LINC trail system in Newnan Georgia offers many benefits to its residents. We spoke to exercise coach and LINC user Jim Qualls about the various benefits the LINC has to offer.

Interview with LINC User and Exercise Coach

Jim Qualls is a Peachtree City resident but loves using the LINC and has built friendships and professional relationships using the LINC’s miles and miles of trails throughout Newnan. 

The LINC is bringing Newnan residents–as well as our friends from neighboring towns–together. Qualls said, “I’m happy when I ever hear about connecting; a path system.” Qualls is in support of how the LINC is helping residents and visitors get exactly where they need to be while encouraging walking, cycling, and more.

Qualls highlights benefits of the LINC. “You can go somewhere to eat, but also [you can use the LINC] for recreating and exercising. It has all the benefits.”

Path systems are extremely beneficial for their communities. Qualls appreciates “The effect [the LINC] has on the community that those paths are going through.” 

The introduction of the LINC has helped Newnan grow as a community, bringing everyone together while encouraging our citizens to get out and be active. 

Qualls said the LINC “allows people to be able to move all these places-short distances, long distances, without having to be in a car.” The LINC offers accessibility and comfortable access to Newnan for anyone and everyone. 

There’s something for everyone on the LINC. Qualls said there are “so many different ways to enjoy it that different people with different interests and different abilities can do.”

Qualls expresses how much he loves the LINC and how much he enjoyed our past events. He said, “I’ve been to 2 or 3 of the events the LINC committee has held on the LINC. The most recent one [was] the big one at Newnan Centre.”

LINC Project Updates

We will be having a public ribbon cutting ceremony on August 9thto showcase sections A and B of the LINC. 

We will keep you updated with more details about this event that is sure to be a worthy celebration of the LINC. 

Keep the date of our upcoming ribbon cutting in mind and we will update when we know the time and location for this LINC event.

Help Support the LINC

Do you love the LINC and want to support our future endeavors to connect and create a wonderful community for recreation and socialization?

Do you want to help the LINC stay in perfect condition? 

If you see any damages or issues along the LINC, please report them here.

Interview with Muralist John Christian

Are you excited for more art through the LINC trail system in Newnan Georgia? If so, you are in luck! John Christian, a muralist who started the Georgia Mural Trail through his company Go Georgia Arts, is creating more beautiful pieces of art along the LINC. These murals will capture the history of Newnan for a new generation.

Interview with Muralist John Christian

We had a great conversation with John Christian about his murals for the LINC and his career as a whole. John told us about his 35 year career as a professional artist. His focus within the last eight years has been on murals. He created an initiative to create 50 murals in 50 cities throughout Georgia. John just recently finished his 53rd mural. He explained that it took a little longer than five years, but the progress throughout the project has been great.

John Christian gave insight into what inspires him to create art, in particular, murals. Even before murals were his main focus, John would paint murals to earn extra money. “In a 30 year span John has built and created 15 art centers, studios, and/or live theater locations in eleven cities in six counties in Georgia.” During his time building and maintaining theaters, John created murals to help cover the losses of the theaters. 

While working in theaters, painting sets and backdrops, and creating murals on the side, John decided he wanted to create more of a legacy, which lead to the Georgia Mural Trail which continues with his forthcoming murals in Newnan, Georgia. 

History is an amazing source of inspiration for John Christian. During our conversation, he told us about a past project refinishing a sign that was discovered when an old building was being torn down. This sign had not been seen since 1908. John has a deep love for history and art. His pride comes through as he tells this story and says, “you’re always revitalizing history.”

Being able to tell the history of each town is of great importance to John. He explained that his murals will always tell a story, highlighting the important historical moments of each town. 

John Christian discussed his process of finding these important pieces of history for each town, and deciding which elements should be present within the final mural. John discussed the importance of coming up with a mission statement for each mural, deciding what each mural should accomplish both visually and emotionally. His process involves creating a list of potential themes and elements to include in the mural and narrows this down until he finds the most important details that make it into the final design in order to perfectly capture the unique history of each city. 

Throughout our conversation, we asked about his previous experience creating a mural for the LINC. He talked about the previous murals by saying, “the first mural was more […] selfie shots. […]it says Love the linc and [has] a lot of flowers, a lot of brightness on one side. And then the other side basically was […] old antebellum columns to indicate […] downtown […] historic Newnan.” 

He went on to explain the theme of the new mural. It will represent Newnan’s history, especially the industries which built Newnan. He showed visuals of his designs for the murals and how this project will focus on the history of Newnan, especially the medical industry. He said, “this top one […] more shows the medical aspect of Newnan and it goes from the first African-American person to get their doctorate degree in quite a county, which is pretty amazing.”

He explained that the second mural focuses on more modern Newnan history and how various industries helped build Newnan into the city it is today. 

LINC Sculpture Update

We have an important announcement about the wonderful sculpture Chris Rothermel is creating for the LINC. We are nearing 50 percent completion on this beautiful addition to the LINC trail system.

This sculpture is slightly delayed from our initial installation estimate, but we are moving along and expect to unveil this beautiful creation in mid-August. Keep following us for more updates on Chris Rothermel’s sculpture and other additions to the LINC trail system in Newnan, Georgia.

We look forward to showing this marvelous sculpture to our wonderful LINC community in Newnan. The LINC is a great way to bring the Newnan community together and we take pride in bringing great pieces of art to our system and community. Stay tuned for more updates on all the great art coming to the LINC this summer!

LINC Trail Update

We have an announcement on the upcoming section of the LINC trail which will run from Greison Trail to Ashley Park. 

We are making progress on this new, exciting section of our LINC trail system, connecting Newnan, Georgia and instilling a wonderful sense of community in our city! 

Our expected completion of the Greison Trail to Ashley Park section of our trail system is mid-July. We are working hard to build these beautiful trails throughout Newnan and we look forward to seeing our community come together on the trails this summer! 

Stay tuned for more trail updates, as we continue to expand our trail system throughout Newnan, so our community can bike, hike, and explore our city together!

Help Support the LINC

Do you love the LINC and want to support our future endeavors to connect and create a wonderful community for recreation and socialization?

Sculpture Gift to the LINC

The multipurpose 26-mile trail system LINC in Newnan has been gifted a wonderful new sculpture by artist Chris Rothermel. Scott and Tami Chahalis have gifted us this inspiring piece of art.

About the Sculptor

Chris Rothermel is a sculptor who received his BFA from University of Georgia and his MFA from University of Oregon. Chris currently speaks as a visiting professor in various symposiums and guest lectures. His UGA bio states, “Rothermel’s work demands participation with strong lines contrasted with rare materials.”

The sculpture is entitled “Concurrent Metamorphosis #1” and will be displayed along our beautiful network of paved paths. This will be our first public art sculpture along the LINC and we are so excited to share this with you all!

LINC Project Updates

Are you excited to learn more updates to LINC’s trail system?

We are working hard to create an expansion to our trail system that will connect Ashley Park to Greison Trail.

 

The image below shows the specifications of this update to the LINC system and how it will work to further connect areas of Newnan, Georgia to increase socializing and community throughout our city.

Upcoming Event

Don’t forget about Ready, Set ..Linc!

Are you ready for our huge event on April 22nd?! Ready, Set, LINC will be an unforgettable event creating a wonderful chance for community connection within Newnan, Georgia.

 

Visit us for this memorable event at Newnan Centre–1215 Lower Fayetteville Road, Newnan, Georgia.

 

Join us to celebrate the LINC at Newnan Centre! Ready…Set…LINC will have something for everyone including live music, food trucks, bike demos, rock climbing as well as a vendor expo and a fun run!

 

If you remember our 2020 event, you will definitely love and recognize our music this year! We hired the Kris Youmans Band to entertain us again for this year’s event.

Ready…Set…LINC will be fun for the whole family. Remember to join us in April 22nd.

If you are interested in signing up to be a vendor at the event, please contact us with your information. The space is limited, so contact us as soon as possible to reserve your vendor spot!

Help Support the LINC

Do you love the LINC and want to support our future endeavors to connect and create a wonderful community for recreation and socialization?

How trails are connecting cities.

While the Atlanta Beltline and Silver Comet Trail are the most high-profile multi-use trails in Georgia, dedicated pathways for walking, jogging and biking now crisscross the state. Communities are pursuing linear parks to encourage exercise, promote alternative transportation and connect residents to their favorite spots in their cities.

The popularity of the rails-to-trails movement is a reminder that the success of these projects is more about the journey than the destination. Author and landscape architect Randall Arendt called greenways “an essential component of truly civilized, healthful community design,” in the Congress for New Urbanism’s Public Square journal.

“However, even when a site is level and virtually featureless, a touch of imagination and a strong interest in providing green connections are all that are needed to produce a community layout that rises well above the distinctive new urban pattern of blocks and neighborhoods,” Arendt said.

The city of Newnan’s LINC multi-use trail is designed to connect historic downtown west of Interstate 85 to the new growth east of I-85. The first 1.4 miles of LINC opened in 2019, with a pedestrian bridge following in January 2021. The second phase will bring the constructed mileage up to 5 miles.

The glowing blue “NEWNAN” on the pedestrian bridge spanning I-85 highlights the union formed by LINC—which is not an acronym but a nod to the links created by the trail.

“Not only has it renewed an interest in wellness overall for members of our community—visitors and residents alike—it’s actually created a connection opportunity,” said Newnan Assistant City Manager Hasco Craver.

That said, LINC is a trail for casual exercise rather than transportation. Picture moms with strollers, retired couples, and leisure cyclists who seek uninterrupted trails. With that audience in mind, the city decided not to allow motorized vehicles, Craver said.

Kim Learnard, director of Friends of LINC in Newnan, lives in Peachtree City, which made a name for itself by creating over 100 miles of golf-cart-friendly multi-use paths. She said the use of a trail system is designed to meet the unique needs of each community. In Newnan, “It’s better without the golf carts,” she said. “They have a much stronger, much more robust bicycle community.” Running groups, friend groups and even yoga studios use LINC for gathering and socializing. Friends of LINC holds events and promotes the trail to increase awareness in the community. The group also raises funds to enhance the trail with amenities and public art.

“Having that advocacy arm is beneficial,” Craver said of Friends of LINC. “Anyone that is ever considering a path system like this, I would encourage a friends’ group,” he said, adding that the group’s mission should be tailored to each community’s particular needs.

A total of 26 miles is planned for LINC. Though only 1.4 miles has been constructed, Learnard said it is already impacting economic development.

“Real estate people are very interested to know where the trail is and where it is headed in the future, because it really does increase property values,” Learnard said.

In addition to the economic, health, environmental and community benefits of multi-use trails, there is the potential to connect cities and even different regions of the state. The Chattahoochee RiverLands Greenway Study released in 2020 proposes 125 miles of uninterrupted multimodal trails from Buford Dam to Chattahoochee Bend State Park, encompassing a network of greenways, blueways and destinations.

Led by the Atlanta Regional Commission, The Trust for Public Land, Cobb County and the city of Atlanta, many Georgia cities are part of a stakeholder group created in 2018. The Sugar Hill trailhead near Ga. 20 would be the northernmost entrance to the RiverLands and would connect to the Sugar Hill Greenway, according to the most recent design.

The National Park Service released a draft trails master plan for the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area that omits sections of the Chattahoochee RiverLands.

This story originally appeared in the May/June 2021 edition of Georgia’s Cities magazine.