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Conceived in 1996, the Ocmulgee Heritage Trail is the jewel of Macon’s park system. At present, the entire system is over 12 miles long, flanking both sides of the Ocmulgee River through downtown Macon. The trail connects the historic downtown with nearby neighborhoods, the beautiful and historic Riverside Cemetery and Rose Hill Cemetery, and two of the county's largest public parks - Amerson River Park and Central City Park. The trail also connects visitors to the Ocmulgee National Monument, which explores 10,000 years of Southeastern Native American culture along the banks of the Ocmulgee River from ice-age hunters to Mississippian Mound Builders to the Muscogee (Creek) Nation. The National Park Service museum, the thousand year old earthlodge and multiple earthmounds are all accessible via the Ocmulgee Heritage Trail.
Several miles of the trail are cement, but portions along Central City Park and within the Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park feature a natural surface. Portions of the trail are connected via public sidewalks on which bicyclists must dismount and walk their bicycles. Plans are underway to connect portions of the trail, starting with a crucial link between Riverside Cemetery and Amerson River Park, but construction is on hold until the nearby interstate road work is finished.
In 2019, local officials opened the Walnut Creek Connector, which extended the Ocmulgee Heritage Trail south of the Otis Redding Bridge, completing a loop along the eastern bank of the river and via Walnut Creek to the existing trail at the Ocmulgee Mounds site.
Trailhead parking is located at Riverside Cemetery, Spring Street bridge and Central City Park. Riverside Cemetery can be accessed from Exit 1A from I-16 East. Turn right on Spring Street then right on Riverside Drive. Turn right at Madison Street. Trailhead parking is on the right.
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