The popular Arabia Mountain PATH trail system has expanded yet again – a new 1.3-mile segment links Henry County to the trail! Emerging from Panola Mountain State Park, the new addition goes over GA-155 and through the lush, wooded hillsides of the Georgia Piedmont. You can access the new trail segment, called the Panola Mountain Greenway, from the Nature Center at 2620 GA-155. The PATH Foundation, representatives from Henry County government, Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites, and the Arabia Mountain Heritage Area Alliance celebrated the new trail extension with a ribbon-cutting at Panola Mountain State Park on Friday, February 19.
Phase II of the Henry County PATH expansion is now in design and will connect the trail segment to a new trailhead near Austin Road Middle School. The extension was recently approved by the Henry County Board of Education in a unanimous vote. “This is one of the signature projects south of I-20,” said Henry County Commissioner Bruce Holmes at the ribbon-cutting on Friday. “I’m proud to announce that the Henry County Board of Education just recently approved the process where we can extend the trail all the way to Austin Road Middle School, giving people in Henry County an opportunity to start the trail in Henry County, come to Panola Mountain State Park…we can actually take this trail, without driving, to the City of Stonecrest, and hopefully to the Atlanta Beltline in the very near future,” he said.
The expansion of the PATH out from Panola Mountain State Park (also part of the AMNHA and a National Natural Landmark) provides even more opportunities for outdoor recreation across three metro-Atlanta counties: DeKalb, Henry and Rockdale.
“We met about 20 years ago with the PATH foundation…and sketched out a vision of a trail system that would connect all three of these counties together, and this is the final piece of the original vision that we’re cutting the ribbon on today,” said Kelly Jordan, Co-Founder and Board Treasurer of the Arabia Mountain Heritage Area Alliance, the nonprofit entity that works to protect and promote the entire AMNHA. He added that “the citizens of Henry County have an incredible amenity thanks to these folks right here…It’s a great day to celebrate interconnectedness and folks working together to make the world a better place, something we could all use a little more of right now.”