Frequently Asked Questions

What is a greenway?
A greenway is a landscape passageway that forms protected corridors to embrace ecological, cultural and recreational sites.

What is the Coastal Georgia Greenway?
It’s two things:

  • The Coastal Georgia Greenway is a shared regional vision for a 155-mile continuous trail connecting South Carolina to Florida through Georgia’s six coastal counties; and 300 miles of existing an planned greenway connector trails that will make the beauty of coastal Georgia easily accessible to bicyclists, hikers, joggers, equestrians, canoeists, and kayakers; AND
  • Comprised of a Board of Directors representing the six coastal counties the Coastal Georgia Greenway, Inc. is a 501 c (3) Non-profit grass roots organization – working to make the Greenway happen.
Where will the Greenway go?
The centerpiece is a 155-mile continuous trail that follows U.S. Highway 17  and other (historic barge canal, rice dikes, abandoned rail and drainage) corridors across southeastern Georgia from Florida to South Carolina. It traverses parts of six coastal counties: Camden, Glynn, McIntosh, Liberty, Bryan, and Chatham.   In addition, numerous other trails, loops, and spurs intersect or connect with the main trail. These  trails will take travelers to towns; recreational, historic, and cultural sites; waterways; and the beautiful habitats that stretch on either side of the main route.

Where do I get on the Greenway? Do you have a map?
The Greenway organization can help you find the sections that you can enjoy now. Click on each county to see the status trail completion, including existing trails.  For more information, contact us.

Who’s paying for the greenway?
A public/private partnership is being forged to fund new trail construction. It’s anticipated that funding will come from municipalities, counties, the federal government, other nonprofits and foundations, and donations from businesses and individuals.

Who controls the Greenway?
Local governments own and manage the sections of the Greenway that lie within their jurisdictions.  The Greenway organization promotes trail development at the grassroots level because it believes local communities are best suited to develop trails that will showcase the best parts of their community for local residents and tourists alike.

Who runs the Greenway organization?
A 14-member volunteer board of directors with representatives from each of the six coastal counties guides the organization.  Jo Hickson, a landscape architect in Savannah, volunteers as CEO for the interim.  The Greenway organization will eventually employ paid staff, however, including a project manager and someone skilled in fund raising.

What does the Greenway organization do?
We will promote stewardship of the unique ecosystems, habitats and cultural resources of coastal Georgia and its individual communities, encourage public access to and use of conserved landscapes and waterways, energize community members to assist in the planning and implementation of comprehensive greenway systems, and organize landscapes into connected systems of parks and green space linked by waterways and greenways.

The Greenway organization develops grassroots support and funding for new Greenway projects.  It also develops professional capacity to assist local government’s efforts to identify routes and design, build, promote, and manage new trail segments.

What is the Greenway organization working on now?
With Chatham County as the Sponsor, the Coastal Georgia Greenway Inc. supports design and construction of the entire Coastal Georgia Greenway as a Georgia Transportation Investment Project.

What will be linked by the Coastal Georgia Greenway?
Visit the Explore Page
When will the Greenway be built (or, finished)?
Because development pressure on coastal communities is already heavy and growing, the organization’s bold goal is to build the entire 155-mile spine trail linking South Carolina to Florida by 2025. There is no time to lose. Trails themselves can’t preserve Georgia’s beautiful, unique coast. People can. Coastal Georgia Greenway wants to make it easy for tourists and residents alike to get to know and enjoy the state’s coastal communities and habitat. Once they do, they will want to preserve the recreational opportunities, history, and beauty they find.

The good news is that more than 95 percent of the 155- mile through corridor route is already publicly owned. Design and construction are next, and the Greenway will grow one trail section at a time as funding is put in place. Meanwhile, there are sections of the Greenway already open and being enjoyed. Continue to visit this Web site to learn more.

Will the Coastal Georgia Greenway have the right to take people’s property in order to make room for the trails?
No. Coastal Georgia Greenway has no legal or governmental right to take anyone’s property. Any additional property or right of way not already in public hands would have to be acquired by local municipalities or counties, which is always a local decision. In fact, with 95 percent of Greenway trail routes already publicly owned, there is little need for additional land or right of way. In the few instances where communities might want right of way not already public owned, local communities will probably buy what they need the same way most property changes hands – in a negotiated sale between willing seller and willing buyer.

Currently 99.96% of the identified 155-mile Coastal Georgia Greenway route linking SC  to FL through Georgia’s six coastal counties, is publicly owned! Only 0.58-mile of the route is privately held.

Don’t a lot of people already visit the coastal counties and enjoy the scenery there? Why spend a lot of money building a Greenway?
Greenway development allows local governments to get more bang for the buck. It greatly expands recreational opportunities, making the wealth of beautiful coastal sights and destinations available to hikers, walkers, cyclists, and paddlers. That will translate to tourist and tourist development dollars.

Construction of the 450-mile trail system will have another economic benefit. It will also provide coastal residents with a safe, alternative way to travel between work and home. In fact, more than 50 percent of the six-county coastal population lives within a mile from a planned trail. Over time, the trail system will provide a safe way for some residents to dodge traffic congestion and may take some pressure off the expand roadways. Proximity to the trail system will give those residents a safe, easily accessible place to meet the U.S. surgeon general’s recommended 30-minutes of daily exercise.

Just as important as the reasons above, the Greenway will make it possible to enjoy coastal Georgia on a pedestrian scale, giving tourists and local residents alike the ability to the long history and natural beauty of the coast unfiltered by the frame of a vehicle window.

In addition, completion of the Coastal Georgia Greenway through corridor route will create a new destination activity, distance cycling, to the existing mosaic of recreational, heritage and eco-tourism opportunities in coastal Georgia.

The Greenway is promising “safe” alternative ways to get around, including cycling. But there’s nothing safe about cycling in our community. How can you call that safe?
The Greenway intends to build safe trails that fall into two categories. First and easiest will be those dedicated paths that are separate from local roadways. Those trails might parallel a roadway, but they’ll separate cars from cyclists and walkers. In those instances where narrow rights of way or bridge crossings require cycling paths to join the roadway, cycling lanes will be created and clearly marked. Whether on clearly marked bike lanes or separate paths, cyclists will have dedicated space in which to ride.
Who started the Greenway organization? When?
Following an 18-month series of grass roots meetings the Coastal Georgia Greenway, Inc. was incorporated and received it’s IRS Non-profit status in 2009. That year all 15 local jurisdictions adopted the spine route for implementation.