Construction nearing completion on trails
by Michelle Babcock
September 19, 2013 01:02 AM | 5520 views | 0 0 comments | 28 28 recommendations | email to a friend | print

The Town To Creek and Noonday Creek sections of the Woodstock Greenprints Trail network will be completed soon. The Town To Creek trail will create a connection between Highway 92 at Noonday Creek and downtown Woodstock.
<br>Special to the Tribune
The Town To Creek and Noonday Creek sections of the Woodstock Greenprints Trail network will be completed soon. The Town To Creek trail will create a connection between Highway 92 at Noonday Creek and downtown Woodstock.
Special to the Tribune
WOODSTOCK — Construction is almost complete on two portions of the Greenprints Trail, the Town To Creek and Noonday Creek trails, which are expected to open this fall and add 1.3 miles to the network.

The Greenprints Trail is an ongoing project to add more than 60 miles of multi-use trails to Woodstock, creating a network for pedestrians to navigate the city.

Brian Stockton, Office of Economic Development director and Greenprints Alliance board member, said that construction on the Town To Creek, or Downtown Spur, trail began in March and “this is a pretty major segment coming into downtown.”

“The trail actually runs up the former, actual Elm Street,” Stockton said Wednesday. “We’re hoping we’re going to be able to announce an opening date this fall sometime, depending on weather.”

Construction on part of the Town To Creek trail, which starts just west of downtown Woodstock, has reached the Elm Street Cultural Arts Village’s future four-acre site.

The old Reeves home on Elm Street is being renovated to become Elm Street Arts’ permanent residence, and Colin Byrne, Elm Street Cultural Arts Village project director, said Elm Street’s plans for the new location include a bike rack and concession stand for trail-goers.

“It’s definitely the next phase in our development as an organization,” Byrne said.

Byrne said that the Town To Creek trail will give residents and visitors the opportunity to experience the history, art and culture of Woodstock.

“We’re really excited about this section of it,” Byrne. “We’ll be pulling in people from Towne Lake, people going into Woodstock, they’ll pass right through our property… Our (Elm Street) board members and our founding members have been closely related to the Greenprints project from the beginning.”

Byrne said that he expects the 10-foot-wide concrete, multi-use trail to attract roughly 500 walkers, runners and bikers each week.

“Somewhere above 26,000 people are going to be using the trail a year, and those are very conservative numbers based off of the households that are within a certain radius of the trail,” Byrne said. “In the end, it could be a lot more.”

After running southwest through the future Elm Street Cultural Arts Village, the trail network will continue south along Noonday Creek on the Noonday Creek trail, down to Highway 92.

“The completion of the Town To Creek trail and our Cultural Arts Village promises to change Woodstock and Southern Cherokee for the better,” Byrne added in a news release.

Stockton said more additions to the trail are in store for this year, including access to the Woofstock Dog Park.

“Later this year, we will actually put a bridge over the creek and connect it over to the new dog park, so people downtown or south of downtown will be able to utilize the trail to get over to the dog park,” Stockton said.

Jennifer Stockton, executive director of Greenprints Alliance, the non-profit organization working to fund the trail project, said the goal is to “connect the community.”

“The whole purpose of the 60-mile network trail is to connect key points in our community,” she said Wednesday. “It’ll go to the different neighborhoods, it’ll go to the different parks, the different schools, and be able to connect key gathering placing in the community to other locations so you don’t have to get in your car to go there.”

Renee Gable, a volunteer with the Greenprints Alliance, said the organization will hold a community outreach meeting on Oct. 24 for residents to review the master plan for the trail, get project updates, and hear about future plans and needs.

Greenprints Alliance is also looking for volunteers to help with the future goals of the organization, and asks that interested individuals attend the meeting.

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