In the first four weeks following the opening of The Creeks, the new 10.75 miles of trails built and shared by the city of Jackson and Dauset Trails, more than 800 people visited the trails.
“Mountain bikers and hikers of all descriptions started using the trail the day it opened,” said Jackson Mayor Kay Pippin. “The trails have enabled us to preserve hundreds of acres of mature trees, wetlands filled with beautiful natural landscapes and animal habitat, provided a path connecting the city of Jackson to Dauset Trails and Indian Springs State Park, and probably improved our own air quality. All this while allowing people to enjoy the land and experience nature with minimal environmental impact.”
The economic effect of the trails can be readily apparent — as in the case of customers in restaurants, buying gas, etc. — and sometimes more subtle, like a growing interest in new home construction connected to the trails and discussions of new business investments on Brownlee Road.
“I believe we have found our community’s development niche,” said Pippin, “with the popularity of the new trails, home to two state parks and Jackson Lake, the Villages at Indian Springs, and an abundance of open land. We are well situated to protect our natural resources while providing for outdoor tourism.”
“By continuing business development near our exits on I-75 and cultivating a variety of small businesses in downtown Jackson combined with the tourism market,” Pippin continued, “Jackson and Butts County can have a strong economy while preserving a good quality of life.”
The city of Jackson, with the help of community volunteer Jim Herbert and Trails Committee Chairman Larry Morgan, has started work on a second Recreational Trails Grant from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources to build Phase II of The Creeks. A trailhead for the proposed next phase will be located in the vicinity of the Jackson-Butts County Library and connect to the current trailhead off Brownlee Road. The new grants will be awarded in the Spring of 2022.
“We are getting nothing but rave reviews from our trail users.” said Ike English, director of Dauset Trails, “It is not uncommon to see multiple cars at all of the four trailheads any day of the week, and users are reporting great experiences and plans to return.”
English also noted recent torrential rains have done minimal damage to the new trails which must be maintained on an ongoing basis to sustain their quality.
“We invite everyone to come on out and enjoy The Creeks!” said English.
The four trailheads are at Brownlee Road adjacent to Jackson Elementary School, at Indian Springs on Hwy. 42, at Dauset Trails on Mt. Vernon Church Road, and on Lake Clark Road. Maps are available at the kiosks at the trailheads on Brownlee Road, Dauset Trails and Indian Springs, and on the maps is a QR code that can be scanned by a smartphone to provide a map. Apps like Trailforks are available that can tell users by GPS where they are on the map.