(Cleveland)- Helen and White County officials received an update Thursday on a Georgia Department of Natural Resources project that will provide a trail that will connect Helen and Hardman Farm Historic Site.
Freedman Engineering Group, of Marietta, has been developing the trail plans and David Freedman said they are ready to submit the plans to the state.
The Helen to “Hardman Heritage Trail”, is being funded by the state with some possible work provided by the county.
Much of the trail, which is designed to showcase the natural beauty of the area, will follow an old railroad bed along the Chattahoochee River.
Freedman said, this is the kind of project they live for, “to do a project that not only protects the river, that has the potential to improve water quality and bring so many people out to the river and have them experience the trail and the environment in that area, it’s just a tremendous experience,” commented Freedman.
The trail will be 8-10 feet wide with a concrete hard surface and feature some elevated platforms that will help highlight the Chattahoochee River. It will be 100 percent handicapped accessible, open to pedestrians and non motorized vehicles ( which will be defined by the DNR).
Officials said they are working with White County Historical Society to develop signage, along the trail, that will tell the story of the area to visitors.
An excited Helen Mayor, Helen Wilkins, said, “ Helen is becoming such a walking city anyway and families like to get out with their kids and especially with the river there. This is a beautiful, beautiful walk,” she said, “ We are so lucky the state is going to put all they are going to into this, to make it a wonderful attraction.”
County officials are excited as well because it is another piece of a plan that will help enhance the area, and focus on the area as a recreation destination place.
David Freedman said they are looking to have the bid opening, for the $1.5 million project, in mid May, with the construction set to start a couple of months later and a possible grand opening the end of March or first of April 2017.