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First Rail Trail Walk on Newton Trails

rail trailNewton Trails is a non-profit organization that is responsible in creating biking and walking trails, all across Newton County. The organization created the spectacular Turner Lake Park Trails, The Yellow River Trails, and the Charlie Elliot Multi-Use Trail. Recently, Newton Trails signed a lease agreement with Norfolk Southern Railroad for the 15-mile rail corridor running from Covington to Newborn. The plan? To turn this corridor into a “rail trail”.

Newton Trails is hoping that the addition of the rail trail will bolster Covington’s economy. Communities that have walking and biking trails saw their economic growth skyrocket, as health-conscience tourists began stopping by. Additionally, the towns were able to become healthier themselves, since access to outdoor recreation was so readily available. Covington’s “rail trail” will also help preserve and share the history and natural beauty of Newton County.  Did you know that Covington was once a bustling rail junction? We’ve had functioning railroads since 1894!

rail trail The first train pulled into Covington station on January 7th, 1894, to be exact. At the time, the Middle Georgia and Atlantic Railway Company (MGA) offered two passenger trains a day between Covington and Milledgeville.  During the 1895 Cotton States International Exposition in Atlanta, MGA offered a special train, called “The Industrial Girl,” between Milledgeville and Covington.  Passengers connected in Covington with the “The Classic City Flyer” on the Georgia Railroad line, which ran into Atlanta. Service on the Covington-Newborn segment was officially discontinued in 2010.

Sounds like history worth preserving. Now, let’s talk about how we can all get involved. The first thing you should do is become a Newton Trails member. Visit their website for more information. Second, you mark your calendar! Saturday, September 17 at 9:00 AM, Newton Trails volunteers will lead explorations of the primitive rail trail. Participants will walk east behind First Baptist Church of Covington, past Legion Field, through a variety of Covington neighborhoods to Eagle Drive/Covington Bypass, and back. This is an opportunity to observe firsthand how a greenway trail system effectively ties a community together.

The total distance of the walk will be approximately 4.2 miles. The event is free and open to the public. Families, groups and individuals are welcome to attend. Visit the Newton Trails website at www.newtontrails.org for more information. Now is the perfect opportunity to become involved in an enriching community experience. 

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