By Don Hazel
Almost exactly one year ago, I wrote an article for the Glade Sun announcing that a FFG Trails Committee had been formed and we would soon begin construction on several walking and hiking trails. What a difference a year makes!
Last October, we had a grand opening and information day at Mirror Pond, where hundreds of people came out to find out about the new trails, listen to music and even enjoy guided hikes on some of the trails. There are now 379 folks signed up as “Friends of Glade Trails” to keep informed and to support and volunteer to work on trail construction and maintenance.
The trails committee, under the guidance of chairman John Conrad, and the “Friends of Glade Trails” volunteers have made tremendous progress on constructing trails through the woods and along grassy roads. In just one year, volunteers have constructed over 11 miles of new trails….11 miles! More miles are under construction this summer!
In addition, there are four miles of paved walking paths that can take you from the Druid pool and mini golf area to the Village Green Mall, the Wellness Center and along Stonehenge Drive, Kingsboro Road and Catoosa Blvd. These paved paths have been around for years, but last year key additions were made to connect separate sections.
We need all three kinds of walking and hiking trails in our community…paved paths, grassy road trails and wooded trails. Paved paths are expensive. The Community Club budgets and constructs additional paved paths as money allows. Additional paved walkways are planned every year going forward.
Grassy road trails and wooded trails are constructed mostly by volunteers with monetary support from Wyndham/Fairfield Homes, the Community Club and from volunteer donations. It is a great combination of positive organizations and people that has been able to provide beautiful, safe, walking, hiking, dog walking and biking paths in our community.
Eleven miles, you say…where are they? Well, here is a rundown of the wooded and grassy road trails so you can get out and enjoy them. Keep in mind; a few of the trails are still not completely finished yet.
North Trail. 2.6 miles long. 1.8 miles through the woods from the parking lot on Catoosa Blvd. and currently another 0.8 mile along roads and sidewalks back to your car. You will get your exercise on the many hills on this trail.
Overlook Trail. A 2.0 mile loop. Start at the Overlook parking lot, switchback down to Daddy’s Creek, follow the well marked trail along the river for a mile and then follow grassy roads back to your car. The roads from the river back to the parking lot are uphill, uphill, uphill. The uphills are more gradual if you start by walking back up the gravel road from your car and turn right into the woods at the white post and follow the white blazes clockwise around the loop.
Thornhill Trail. A 1.8 mile loop, mostly level, all along grassy or gravel roads. Start at the Dorchester Golf Parking lot, cross Westchester and follow the yellow markers in a loop that brings you back to your car.
Kirkstone Trail. A 1.9 mile loop on rarely used gravel roads near Lake Kirkstone. Follow yellow arrow one block past the Kirkstone boat ramp and then follow the yellow markers in a loop back to your car. This route is mostly level with one or two hills.
Amherst Trail. A 2.0 mile loop, nearly all level, mostly on grassy roads. Start at the yellow posts along St. George Drive, a half mile west of Lake Sherwood or 1 mile east of Lake St. George. You are never far from homes yet the trail is quiet and beautiful.
New trails under construction.
Lutheran Trail. This short 0.2 mile, very easy trail, starts at the multi-purpose building and goes through the woods paralleling Lakeview Dr. to near the Lutheran Church. Currently it is an out and back trail. More work needs to be done on this trail, but you can safely try it out now. Total distance out and back….0.4 miles.
Wexford Trail. A 0.8 mile trail through the woods paralleling Stonehenge Drive. Start at the paved path at the corner of Kingsboro and Stonehenge, cross Stonehenge and follow the trail to Wexford and back. It is still under construction but if you are careful you can give it a try. Total distance out and back…1.6 miles.
Rotherham Trail. Currently a half mile trail one way, mostly level. Park at the gravel area on Rotherham where it passes by the end of Lake Dartmoor. Cross Rotherham and go left in the field and into the woods. The trail is easy to follow along the creek to its dead end. Turn around and follow the same trail back to your car. Eventually this trail will connect to the North trail loop near the Good Samaritan complex. Total distance out and back…1 mile.
North Trail extension. This trail isn’t in existence yet; we will work on it this summer. It will circle behind the Good Samaritan complex and complete the loop of the existing North Trail. When completed the North Trail will be a four mile loop, all through the woods. You can help us construct it this summer, if you like.
The longer trails all have benches to stop and catch your breath, or sit and let the beautiful, peaceful surroundings take your breath away.
You can pick up trail maps at the Community Conference Center or the Admin building, or find the FFG trails website by typing “Friends of Glade Trails” on Google.
Grab the dog, or a spouse, or a friend and check out some of the most peaceful trails in Tennessee. If you live in Fairfield Glade you are now within a mile or two of a great place to walk or hike and enjoy nature!
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