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Oconee Dems Briefed on Firefly Trail

Photo Credt: Lee Becker

Stephanie Doerr, a board member of Firefly Trail Inc.

Stephanie Doerr’s commitment to multi-use trails was obvious from the outset.

“For my bucket list, I’m determined to ride on every trail in every state,” Doerr told the gathering of the Oconee County Democratic Party.

Doerr listed 27 states as “done.”

Doerr was joined by Ivette Bledsoe. Both are members of the Board of Directors of the Firefly Trail Inc., a Georgia non-profit incorporated to create a multi-use trail from Athens to Union Point.

Bledsoe also is a member of the Board of Directors for the Oconee County Cycling Organization, which has the mission of promoting improving bicycling infrastructure in Oconee County and has advocated for a trail along the little-used rail line running through the county.

One of the most visible activities of the Oconee Cycling Organization is its annual Tour-d’Oconee ride, which is being held starting at 8 a.m. this Saturday. Check-in is behind the courthouse in Watkinsville.

The Firefly Trail is a multi-use trail from Athens to Union Point along the corridor of the historic Athens Branch of the Georgia Railroad. Bledsoe and Doerr said that small sections of the trail are open in Athens, in Winterville, and in Union Point.

The major challenge for the trail, Bledsoe and Doerr said, is that much of land used by the railroad has reverted to the owners of adjoining properties, and many of those property owners do not want to give up the land for a public trail. This is a warning for Oconee County, they said, as it contemplates the possible use of rail line running from Watkinsville to Madison, through Bishop and Farmington.

The line through Oconee County remains officially active, even though little of it is used.

For more, visit Oconee County Observations.