Category Archives: Blog

We are flagging trails in Talking Rock

BTJ map of TRBig News! We have now completed flagging for 11.86 miles of multi-use trails at Talking Rock Nature Preserve. Our cost to do this was about $1,000 per mile.

We are working with Pickens County to get their approval to build the first 5-6 miles of trails! We have about $75,000 allocated for that and can’t wait to get it going.

Something good is happening in Pickens County Georgia!

Follow the progress here and on the Talking Rock facebook page and give it a LIKE while you are there.

Trail time in Columbus. Have you registered?

Looking for some trail time at the Summit?

We’ve got you covered. Each day we offer classroom time AND options to walk, paddle, bike, run, ride, mountain bike, or raft your way through the trails of Columbus. See map here.

Register today

$100 for intriguing speaker sessions and trail time, plus two riverside parties!  All locations are walkable if you stay next door at the Marriott for $109. See trail-time workshop list below and select your options when you register in Eventbrite.

Eventbrite - Georgia Trail Summit 2017

Columbus trails collage

Thursday April 20

  • Raft the Hooch with Whitewater Express – 10:00 am
  • Walk history of the Riverwalk en route to Chattahoochee River Club deck – 5:00 pm

Friday April 21

  • Trail run with Big Dog Running – 6:30 am
  • Bike Connections: Riverwalk>Dragonfly>Fall Line Trace – 2:30 pm
  • Walk history of the Riverwalk en route to Eagle & Phenix river deck – 5:00 pm

Saturday April 22

All Saturday workshops are at 9:30 am, please choose one:

  • Bike Callaway Gardens Discovery Trail
  • Stroll our Tree Canopy of Trees Columbus
  • Paddle the Hooch from CSU’s Oxbow Nature Center
  • Mountain bike Flat Rock Trail
  • Equestrian trail ride at FDR Park
  • Walk the MLK Heritage Trail
  • Geocache along the Riverwalk
  • Bike the Riverwalk>Dragonfly>Fall Line Trace

Georgia trail enthusiasts will flock to Columbus for annual spring summit

cva-sorba-eventPlans to create 60 miles of trails or alternative transportation paths in Columbus have finally gained momentum.

Conservation speakers at the summit!

Interested in hearing how other land trusts activate their conserved areas for the public? We certainly are as we begin one of our first park builds. Well, we’re all in luck; in April 2017, for the first time at the annual Georgia Trail Summit, five conservation groups are on the program:

will all attend the trail summit and share lessons learned in trail building, maintenance, and stewardship, they will share resources, successful volunteer management, restoration methods, and in one case the connectivity of 750 miles of trail.

We are eager to highlight the synergies in conservation work and trail development and hope that you’ll consider attending the summit, take some notes, and become a volunteer as we jump in to trail development. Thanks for being part of the family.

Register and/or browse the program here.

We have a GTS program!

stpal-gts-boxTrailhounds, the program for the 4th annual Georgia Trail Summit is now confirmed! Take a look at the terrific speakers and ideas they’ll present, save your spot in our popular mobile workshops for all trail users, and get excited about the riverside networking parties all on April 20-22 in Columbus.

Registration is now open. We believe this will be the best Trail Summit yet. New this year, we’ll hear from three land trusts and explore synergies in conservation work and trail work. AICP CM credits are available for the first time from our partners at the Georgia Planning Association. Our early bird registration fee is only $85 before March 1.

Our theme is Plan. Fund. Build. Manage.  The program is heavy on how-to sessions with practical content on the full life cycle of successful trails, from concept and construction to operations and long-term sustainability.

Closing out 2016

Bill is managing year-end acquisitions of 12 new properties and 3 conservation easements totaling 5,000 acres protected, and sales across the region. Tracie has been serving as a trail consultant in White County and reviewing content and sponsors for the trail summit. We feel like elves in Santa’s shop still working hard at year end to finish strong. Hopefully soon we’ll be able to share our wrap up for 2016 including a freshened up look for our website today, including a fun little seasonal snowfall.

Stay tuned for our news and welcome aboard to the attendees of the Georgia Trail Summit who all join us as members this coming year. Tickets went on sale today to GTS2017!

Happy holidays to you and yours!

We care about you on GA Gives Day

gacnp_cmyk_logo_2016_990STPAL cares about you on Georgia Gives Day and that’s why we conserve land.

Funding will support our efforts to design a story map about STPAL properties, lead a volunteer build of park trails, plant pollinator gardens, host nature programs and more. With dozens of parcels of conserved land envisioned for public use and environmental education, we are committed to conserve and activate these Georgia spaces for you!

15,000+ acres
23 properties (19 more coming)
in Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina.

To donate, visit  and type STPAL in the search bar!

Call for speakers at Georgia Trail Summit 2017 due 11/15

Would you like to be a speaker?  Or have a suggestion for someone we should contact?

Our theme is Plan. Fund. Build. Manage.

The program will be heavy on how-to sessions with practical content on the full lifecycle of successful trails, from concept and construction to operations and long-term sustainability.  Share your proven approach or innovative trail project with a broad, statewide audience. Or lead a mobile workshop sharing the latest techniques.

All sponsorship levels include free registrations. AICP CM credits available.

Submit your RFP here. Deadline November 15.

Georgia Trail Summit joins STPAL, forming new, winning partnership

ATLANTA –  The Georgia Trail Summit is maturing.  Now in its fourth year, the popular conference for Georgia’s trail community is moving under the new wing of a strong land conservation group.

Southeastern Trust for Parks and Land (STPAL), founded in 2011, will assume fiscal and administrative responsibilities for the Georgia Trail Summit (GTS), making it their signature annual event by providing a new home for its future success.  The synergies between both groups will make each one stronger and even more effective. In the process, a full-time position was created for Trail Summit director Tracie Sanchez who previously chaired the event as a volunteer for the first three years.  In her new role as director of community engagement and outreach for STPAL, her time will be divided between planning and implementing the Georgia Trail Summit, her top priority, and increasing awareness for STPAL’s innovative work creating public parks, conserving natural land, and encouraging environmental education.

tas-btj“As a proven leader in Georgia’s trail community, Tracie’s skills are an ideal fit to enhance STPAL’s mission while continuing to build valuable partnerships as we strengthen and grow the Georgia Trail Summit,” explains Bill Jones, executive director of STPAL and founding member of the Georgia Trail Summit.  “Our work at STPAL dovetails beautifully with the vision of the Trail Summit.”  Their goal is to encourage a connected trail network in every corner of the state.  Jones adds, “Many of STPAL’s properties are ideal for both linear parks and trail networks which complement and accelerate the Trail Summit’s mission.”

The 2017 Georgia Trail Summit is set for April 20-22 in Columbus, site of the longest urban whitewater course in the world and other trail-friendly projects. The 2017 Summit’s theme is Plan. Fund. Build. Manage.

About the Georgia Trail Summit:  The Summit attracts about 200 people every spring for an informative, three-day event featuring outstanding speakers, mobile workshops highlighting the host city’s trails, and networking parties.  Their vision is to help groups build a connected, statewide trail system in every corner of the state bolstered by collaboration, sharing resources and knowledge.

Previously, MillionMile Greenway served as the 501 c3 umbrella organization for the Georgia Trail Summit and donated the initial seed money to launch the first one in 2014.  “It’s terrific to see this Summit blossom from an all-volunteer effort, funded by sponsors like MillionMile Greenway, to evolve into a STPAL project with a budget and long-range plan,” says Jim Langford, president of MillionMile Greenway and founding member of the Georgia Trail Summit. Sponsorships from companies, government agencies and trail-related nonprofits will continue to be an essential revenue source for the Georgia Trail Summit.