Lookout Mountain, GA (PRWEB) June 23, 2014
Lula Lake Land Trust, a nonprofit dedicated to preserving the natural and historic landscapes surrounding Rock Creek and Bear Creek in Northwest Georgia, today announces the Grand Opening of the Cloudland Connector Trail. Lula Lake Land Trust and Cloudland Canyon State Park are co-sponsoring the event, which will take place at Cloudland Canyon State Park on Friday June 27th from 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time. There will be a ribbon cutting and community celebration of the completion of the new phase of the Cloudland Connector Trail, including the newly-constructed Bear Creek bridge.
The park is located at 122 Cloudland Canyon Park Road, Rising Fawn, GA. Visitors attending the ceremony should enter the park and follow signs to the trailhead. Refreshments will be provided. The Folk School of Chattanooga will play traditional Appalachian music, and visitors are invited to hike or mountain bike the trails after the ceremony. They will be among the first to cross the new bridge over Bear Creek.
The list of partners who contributed time and funding to the project reads as a “who’s who” of the conservation community: Lyndhurst Foundation, Benwood Foundation, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, SORBA Chattanooga, Friends of Cloudland Canyon State Park, Walker County Government, Dade County Government, Georgia Land Trust, The Trust for Public Land, WILD Trails & Rock/Creek, USDA Forest Service, Rock Creek Fellowship, local contractors Stan Gravitt and Charlie Smith, and of course Lula Land Land Trust. The trail work brought diverse user groups together, with representatives from trail running, hiking, mountain biking, backcountry horseback riding, bird watching, and whitewater kayaking communities participating. The Cloudland Connector Trail, accessible through four trailheads, contains about 60 miles of multi-use trails and crosses through some of the highest priority land for biodiversity, according to the Georgia State Wildlife Action Plan.
Brad Cobb, Lula Lake Land Trust Board Chair, describes the Connector Trail project as an ongoing public-private partnership involving a number of number of volunteers and agencies, and is “a shining example of how public and private partners can work together on a vision that generates tourism and rural economic development. In keeping with our mission, Lula Lake Land Trust has protected nearly 10,000 acres in our 20-year history, and realized about ten years ago that we had a golden opportunity to connect to the jewel in our backyard, Cloudland Canyon State Park. We would not be here today without the dedication and partnership of the State Park staff and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources; as well as generous support from foundations and individuals; community groups and volunteers; and the thousands of visitors who spread the word about this world-class trail system and help us connect even more people to the land we've preserved. We are incredibly grateful to everyone who contributed time and resources toward making our Connector Trail vision a reality.”
Joe Yeager, Region 1 Manger for Georgia State Parks, says: “The Cloudland Connector Trail is an incredible trail system of nearly 30 miles though some of the most beautiful country in Northwest Georgia. Through the efforts of the Lula Lake Land Trust, Lyndhurst Foundation, Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association (SORBA), and many hard working volunteers, this project not only created an amazing trail system, but they have also protected thousands of acres of beautiful land in Northwest Georgia. The partnership between Lula Lake Land Trust and Georgia Department of Natural Resources is truly one the of best partnerships we have ever experienced. The dedication of so many folks have made this project successful. On behalf of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, we want to thank everyone involved in the funding, planning, building and promoting of this wonderful trail system, the Cloudland Connector Trail.”
About Lula Lake Land Trust
The Lula Lake Land Trust, established by the will of Robert M. Davenport in January of 1994, seeks to protect and preserve the natural beauty and abundant resources within the Rock Creek and Bear Creek watersheds for the benefit of present and future generations by fostering education, research and conservation stewardship of the land.
The Trust seeks to create a network of conservation properties within the focus area that will ensure protection and enhancement of local water quality, protect areas which maintain contiguous forest cover and scenic views, provide opportunities for research and education programs and designate areas suitable for public access, use and enjoyment. Through their programs and activities, the Trust will continue to influence future public and private efforts to create a continuous conservation landscape on the mountain.