Macon, GA –The Ocmulgee Heritage Trail in Amerson River Park has been extended thanks to a public-private partnership between Macon-Bibb County and NewTown Macon. This spring, the Ocmulgee Heritage Trail committee completed a quarter-mile section of trail that connects the Jay Hall North River Access to the overlook. The North Amerson Extension creates a continuous paved path that floaters, kayakers, and canoers can use after completing a float or ride on the Ocmulgee River. Additionally, it expands the trail network for cyclists and pedestrians to enjoy.
“After battling more rain than normal and soil that would not dry, NewTown Macon added another section of trail from the canoe launch downstream to the overlook. As one of the more picturesque sections of the trail, it features a delightful seating and play area sponsored by the Leadership Macon class of 2016,” says Ocmulgee Heritage Trail Committee Chair Chris Sheridan.
The Leadership Macon Class of 2016 enhanced this section of trail by building an overlook with a view of the river, complete with benches made from recycled stone and a slide. The Leadership Macon overlook provides a playful respite for park-goers using the trail and another way to enjoy the natural beauty of the Ocmulgee River.
“The new section of trail offers even more walking and biking opportunities for Amerson Park and is a great addition to the Ocmulgee Heritage Trail,” says Parks and Beautification Director Michael Glisson. “With the path along the river and the new overlook from Leadership Macon, park-goers will be able to enjoy great views of the river. Big thanks to the Ocmulgee Heritage Trail Committee and NewTown Macon for their hard work on this project.”
The North Amerson Extension was part of the original master plan for Amerson River Park but was cut from the construction of the park due to budget constraints. The E.J. Grassmann Trust, the James Hyde Porter Charitable Trust, the Community Foundation of Central Georgia, an Anonymous Donor Fund of the Community Foundation of Central Georgia, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Beverly B. Meadors Charitable Fund, and the Lee Family Giving Fund contributed to the Ocmulgee Heritage Trail Fund to complete the North Amerson Extension and add another amenity to Amerson River Park. Currently, there are $40 million worth of proposed trail projects that will complete a comprehensive trail network, connecting Amerson River Park to the Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park. Private donations and grants fund the expansion of the Ocmulgee Heritage Trail.
“This is yet another thing to celebrate in our community. Expanding our parks and trail system is vital because it improves our health, connects our neighborhoods, and brings us closer together,” says Mayor Lester Miller. “While this is a moment to celebrate, we are not done, yet. We will continue to expand this trail effort in both directions until we have connected Amerson River Park to Pleasant Hill to Downtown to the Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park.”
Citizens can invest in the trail network by making a donation to the Ocmulgee Heritage Trail Fund at https://newtownmacon.com/donate.