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About 135 miles southwest of Savannah, rural Douglas has successfully transformed its railroad line, a former economic generator, into a multi-use trail. Built atop the bed of the old Georgia & Florida Railroad, the 3-mile trail serves as a transportation corridor and recreational hub for the town's 11,000 residents.
From the West Coffee Middle School trailhead, the route meanders past tennis courts and a baseball field and crosses the landscaped campus of South Georgia College, the state's oldest junior college. Beyond is an eclectic mix of single-family homes, businesses, old farmhouses, mobile homes and warehouses. While road crossings are plentiful on this trail, they're clearly marked for safe use.
Midway along the trail on Ward Street West you'll pass the old train depot, now the Heritage Station Museum (open Tues.-Fri. & every first and third Sat.). Stop in to learn about the railroad that once ran through Douglas and contributed so much to the local economy.
Continuing along a path lined with sweet-smelling pines, you'll soon reach the northern trailhead at North Chester Avenue. A short section of trail extends north from the road, with plans in the works to bring the trail out towards the athletic park at the city's northern boundary, but for now trail users will have to turn back at the creek. Linger on the return trip to appreciate the pleasant landscaping or take a breather on one of the trailside benches.
In Douglas: Access the County Board of Education trailhead (1303 Peterson Avenue South) by taking GA 32/Ward Street East and turning left on Peterson. Parking is available.
The Heritage Station Museum (219 Ward Street West) is on the north side of GA 32/Ward Street West, two blocks west of Peterson Avenue. Parking is available.
Love it. Great for kids. Very easy to ride
Drove down from Atlanta while headed to ride the Woodbine GA rail trail as well as a swing through Jesup, GA for lunch at JONES KITCHEN. This is a great meat and veggie buffet open only 11-2 Monday - Saturday.
In Douglas, we parked on the South Georgia State College Campus and caught the trail in the middle. We rode first south and realized why we had seen nothing when looking for the trail at the middle school, There are no signs for the trail entrance at this location. We found the trail actually starts behind two metal post on the front side of the school on the north edge of the parking lot driveway.
We then backtracked and went north to the very end of the Douglas Trail which is across a new bridge over Twenty-Mile Creek. Beyond this bridge the rail trail abruptly ends and currently is nothing but grass in the former Georgia Florida Railroad Right-of-Way. We posted a photo showing this sudden stop.
It is a nice but short trail
Today (September 7, 2013) was my first day riding on the trail. I traveled from McRae, Georgia to ride on the trail for safety reasons. I really enjoyed the ride. I only wish it would connect to Telfair County. Nice trail, only the ride was too short. It was a nice treasure to find. Thank you all so much for constructing such a wonderful trail, many rest areas, and smooth road. Again, it was an enjoyable evening.
Nice trail. Flat. Some street crossings, but OK. Work is underway to extend the trail north.
At the museum, go uphill a half block and you will see a nice Italian/Pizza restaurant on the right.We took a Pizza home on our bike.
"This is a nice little trail! Be careful when crossing Ga158, the other crossings are easy. I hope to see the trail extended sometime- the possibilities are exciting as the railbed goes N to Augusta, and S to Willacoochee!"
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