A closer look at Gwinnett Trails and the future of connectivity across the region.
Trails are the number one most-loved amenity in Gwinnett’s Parks system, and the county is looking to bring some of that same magic outside of our parks. The focus for Gwinnett Trails is to create a robust network of trails that can serve residents, employees and visitors with multimodal transportation options as well as recreation facilities.
A trail can serve as greenspace as well as a route to get the community to larger parks. The Countywide Trails Master Plan was developed as a partnership between Community
Services and the Department of Transportation, because trails serve as both recreation amenities and transportation facilities. As Gwinnett continues to grow, their transportation function will become more and more critical, which is why the Countywide Trails Master Plan focuses on expanding our trail network outside of the park system.
In 2019, Gwinnett was the first county to sign on to the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA’s) 10-minute Walk Campaign at a countywide-level. This is a commitment to ensure all residents are within a 10-minute walk of parks or greenspaces. (10minutewalk.org)
What’s the plan man?
In 2018, Gwinnett County revealed the Gwinnett Countywide Trails Master Plan largely due to the tremendous growth the community has experienced (and even more population growth is anticipated by the year 2050) as well as an incorrect assumption by regional partners that “Gwinnett doesn’t do trails.” In 2022, keep an eye out for signage so you know where to go! Branding elements will help the system gain momentum. “We are really focused on bringing awareness to the existing system through implementation of our wayfinding and signage plan,” said Beth Tucker with Kimley-Horn, who serves as the Gwinnett Trails Implementation Program Manager.
“We are also looking for ways to innovate our trails system as well as ensure that they are significant resources for the Gwinnett community,” said Tucker. The aim of Gwinnett’s trail system also is to provide more than just a means of transportation or recreation. The trails in Gwinnett offer a breath of fresh air to our daily lives by providing a change of scenery. This can improve mental health, help connect people within our suburban community, and serve social needs, such as providing trail users with fresh produce.
Gwinnett is also focused on implementing this system so that each part of the county has a trail nearby. This will help serve our 10-minute Walk campaign commitment and ensure that our facilities are equitable and accessible.
Hop On Hop Off
We’ve highlighted a few spots to hop on and enjoy the trails this spring.
The Ivy Creek Greenway is currently accessible near the Mall of Georgia. This trail also has a trailhead in George Pierce Park, which is currently under construction. With future trails segments, users will be able to use this trail to get from Suwanee to the Mall of Georgia area.
The Harris Greenway Trail is a new trailhead is currently under construction in Tribble Mill Park at Chandler Road and should be open later this spring
Western Gwinnett Pathway is a path which runs along Peachtree Industrial Boulevard (PIB). DOT will begin construction on an extension of the trail later this Spring. There are future plans to extend this trail and even include a connection to the Ivy Creek Greenway, which means people in Peachtree Corners can use the Western Gwinnett Pathway to get from PTC to Buford—totally on bike or by foot!
The Eastern Regional Greenway in the Dacula area is part of the Eastern Regional Infrastructure. This will include more than 5 miles of trails near Hwy 316, as well as provide connectivity to the future Rowen campus and the Piedmont Pathway.
The Chattahoochee River Lands is a 100-mile blueway (a.k.a. a water way trail) and greenway corridor that wrapped up a regional planning effort in April 2021. The Sugar Hill Trailhead was selected as one of only three catalytic sites throughout this extensive corridor. More info at ChattahoocheeRiverLands.com
The Piedmont Pathway is a signature trail and is included in the
Atlanta Regional Commission’s Regional Trail Vision. This trail will connect to
trail systems in Barrow, DeKalb and Fulton Counties. Through a series of
trail systems and networks, users will one day be able to travel from Barrow
County to Alabama (or beyond!).