Trail Segment #1: Albany/Sasser Trail to Riverfront Trail

For years, the railroad corridor from Albany to Sasser was utilized to transport
goods to the City of Albany and across the Southeast. Since the abandonment of
the rail, it has become an overgrown eyesore of little importance to the region.
With successful implementation of the first trail segment, this will no longer be
the case. South Georgia Rails to Trails, Inc. and the City of Albany have begun a
resurrection of this once busy transportation corridor for a completely different
purpose: a multi-use greenway trail for non-motorized travel. The rehabilitation
of this old rail bed into a trail system for recreation will increase the overall
health of the region, and will once again make this corridor a vibrant asset and
economic generator for the community.
The route utilizes the abandoned railroad from Sasser, Georgia to the Jefferson
Street overpass in the City of Albany, where the rail bed intersects with the
west side of the Norfolk Southern rail line. When the trail enters Dougherty
County, it crosses Slappey Blvd and the new Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market.
This is a popular destination for trail users and an ideal location for a trailhead
at the edge of the existing parking lot. The trail continues along the rail corridor
towards Albany, running adjacent to several neighborhoods. Residents in these
neighborhoods will be able to access the trail by using existing sidewalks or
intersecting residential streets. The goal is to make a connection to the existing
Riverfront Trail along the Flint River. There are two viable and equally important
options to make this connection. The first option is to continue down the rail
corridor and build a pedestrian bridge over the active Norfolk Southern rail
lines allowing trail users to safely cross this obstacle. The trail will continue
along the abandoned corridor for a short distance before connecting directly
into the Riverfront Trail. The second option is to link this trail into the Albany
community by connecting to Tift Park and into downtown Albany.
Feedback from community meetings has shown that a strong connection to
Tift Park is desired by many Albany residents. This is a focal point for the
community and is a critical link for the Rail Trail corridor just a few blocks
north of the park. The design team believes the best way to make this connection
is to merge off the rail corridor at North Monroe Street on the east side, and
head south to Tift Park. This multi-use path will weave through city or county

Flint River Trails Master Plan

Executive Summary

World class trail systems connect a variety of destinations and experiences, offering something for all types of trail users. They connect people to outdoor recreation areas, neighborhoods, schools, restaurants, and shops. These trail systems become a draw not just to locals, but to people from afar as well. These systems become an economic driving force and create a culture where people want to visit and stay, or move to these communities.

In 2015, Dougherty County and the City of Albany realized they have all the pieces to the puzzle, and they just needed to fit them together into one cohesive trail system. This trail system will impact the citizens of Dougherty County by encouraging a more active community, promoting healthier and happier lifestyles, bringing the community together through connectivity, and encouraging economic growth downtown and throughout the county. To
achieve this goal, key stakeholders from around the county came together with the design team, KAIZEN Collaborative, in January 2016 to discuss the benefits and opportunities of this trail master plan and to fit the pieces together.

From there, a smaller steering committee was formed to review proposed routes, design standards, and branding elements for the trail system. The input from the steering committee was critical in gaining valuable local insight and feedback.  The proposed trail system was presented as five phases with “before” and “after” images of key locations. Each segment was analyzed and documented to give a clear understanding of what is being proposed. In addition, cost data was estimated to help guide funding and phasing implementation.

The Flint River Trails master plan identifies over 20 miles of multi-use trails, including proposed areas for mountain bike and equestrian trail expansion as well as improvements for canoe and kayak access. This trail system has something for everyone and has the potential to change the landscape around Dougherty County forever.

Here is the PDF of Flint River Trails Master Plan

Welcome to Flint River Trails

Flint River Trails

Flint River Trails is a non-profit organization located in Albany, Georgia.

Introduction

The Dougherty County Trail Master Plan was started as a means to develop an interconnected trail system throughout the City of Albany and Dougherty County. In today’s real estate market, trails are being called the new beach front property. People want to live close to trails as they provide many benefits such as increased mental and physical health, increased sociability, a way of transportation, and an increase in economic activity. The millennial generation desires to be near trails and the benefits they provide. As the millennials in Albany look elsewhere and leave for cities that provide these amenities, it is crucial that the City of Albany and Dougherty County promote the development of this trail system as a means of encouraging their younger generation to want to stay or come back. This trail system will also be a major draw to businesses looking to locate in a city that has a greater quality of life for its workers. In addition to increased quality of life, the trail system will increase local spending and tax revenues. The return on this investment should be a win for everyone.

Opportunities abound with over 1,560 acres of publicly-owned property along the banks of the Flint River within Dougherty County. This asset provides a range of unique opportunities of different types of recreational trail facilities to serve many citizens’ interests.

Now is the time for Dougherty County to be interconnected and re-linked to the Flint River and Albany’s downtown core. A well-designed, well-constructed trail system will go a long way towards making Dougherty County one of southern Georgia’s most desirable emerging areas, so let’s get a move on!