Pike County Times
The Pike County Times, PO Box 843, Zebulon, Georgia 30295. Click here to donate through PayPal. Becky Watts: Phone # 770-468-7583 editor@pikecountytimes.com
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Submitted pic of work being done on the trail.
Update on the Pirate Trail Walkway

ZEBULON - Pike County resident Bob Clark gave an update to the Zebulon City Council on September 8, 2015 about the Pirate Trail that he first wrote about in an editorial to the Pike and Lamar newspapers a month ago. He has met with many people in Pike County over the past month and has found out additional information about the walkway that he made public during this meeting.

Mr. Clark has met with representatives of the Board of Education, the City of Zebulon, the Pike County Commission, the Tax Assessor's Office, Morton and Morton, and Ken Gran of the Agribusiness Authority.

Ken Gran, the original designer of the Pirate Trail, advised that some of the pictures taken were in an area of the park is on private property and not on Board of Education property. Mr. Clark advised the City Council that the trails were not marked that went off of school property so there was no way to know that there was a difference in designated areas. However, he did tell Council members that all dangerous and deteriorated walkways have been removed and private areas identified.

He apologized for incorrect identification of the properties but said that he has been told that not being posted just brought needed attention to the park overall, and it is giving the school and city and county governments "a very positive note to move forward and improve on."

"I've always enjoyed nature parks and am thrilled with the possibilities and potential of the park itself," he told the Council. "I urge the City of Zebulon and the Pike County Board of Education to work together connecting the City Park to this wetland treasure acreage." He said that very little is needed for maintenance since the paths and walkways are basically the foundation of the park and went on to say that if the City would take the transfer of land title, only 2 bridges and between 500 and 600 feet of walkway would be necessary connect the two parks for public use.

He closed out by praising the City of Zebulon for its park located by the city offices and advising he has been told that there are many grants available for projects like this potential public trail. He said that maintenance and upkeep could be designated to the local 4-H and FFA clubs and Boy and Girl Scout Troops which often ask for ways to help out in the community.

"If the City of Zebulon and the Pike County Board of Education will work together for our community, the park's enlargement will be a feather in your hats," said Mr. Clark. "Citizens and visitors will appreciate and support your gift of a beautiful community park for their use."

Pirate Trail Needs Maintenance

ZEBULON - Bob Clark took a walk on the Lamar County wetlands trail a short time back and then came to the Pike County Pirate Trail on the same day. His experience was not the same on both trails, and it prompted him to write the editorials to both the Barnesville Herald Gazette, the Pike Journal Reporter, and Pike County Times.com. (Note of disclosure: Mr. Clark is my Dad.)

The letter to the Herald Gazette was one of appreciation for a project that is well maintained and can be enjoyed by the community for years to come. The letter to the Pike Journal Reporter and the Pike County Times is shown below.

Dear Editor,

I recently stopped and visited Lamar County’s wetland trails near the schools and rodeo arena. I was coming home from church in Barnesville on a Sunday afternoon on a 94 degree day. The deep woods and trails were cool and comfortable. It was enjoyable so following my children’s directions I went to Pike County’s Pirate Treasure Trails near the old high school. Open to the public from dawn to dusk, I was looking for a double treat following the Lamar County hike in the woods. Was I so disappointed. The entrance sign was overgrown with poison ivy and the trails and wooden walkways were rotting and falling down creating a dangerous and very unfriendly environment.

Pike County residents need to seek help from our neighboring Lamar County on upkeep and maintenance.

We have a large area with streams and even a waterfall, which I could only hear but was so grown over, I could not see. Signs of wildlife were everywhere in the marshland environment. I had to literally crawl on my hands and knees over a couple of the rotting and falling down wooden pathways.

It’s a disgrace to the schools and county besides being dangerous. Original sponsors when opened included the Pike County Board of Education, Southern Rivers EMC, the Pike County Agribusiness Authority, the Kiwanis Club of Pike County, the Georgia Forestry Commission, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, The Towaliga Soil and Water Conservation District and the Leanna Park Foundation.

As a forty one year resident of Pike County, I personally am ashamed to admit second class to Lamar County and the Barnesville school system for our care of nature’s beauty and gift of our own wetlands.

Please, let us as Pike County citizens fix this treasure and make it a true Georgia showcase.

Bob Clark

Mr. Clark said that he found trash like pieces of pipes along some of the pathways in Pike County though it was not overly trashy. He said that some of the trees have fallen down and some of the bridges have fallen which make this part of the pathway dangerous for the public. He said that one bench needs to be stained or it will be in as bad of shape as the other.

However, he said that even though there were some problems with the pathway that he took that day (he went to the left rather than taking a right turn that would end at the back of the high school), there were signs of life all along the pathway and he could see that other people have been out there walking along the trail. And he said that even though he could not see the waterfall, he did see little fish in the stream.

Mr. Clark said that he could tell that this was a showplace when it was put together, but said that it needs some maintenance. "It can be done with no weight on anyone's back," he said.

He suggested turning it into a science project. He suggested that this is an opportunity to detail the plants and shrubs as well.

Mr. Clark has been meeting with various entities in the county to see how this project can get rolling and there has been talk of a second sign to show who helps with this phase of the project. Pike County School Superintendent Dr. Mike Duncan advised last week that work has begun on the left side part of the walk (the top picture on the right shows this), and pictures show that has caution tape up around it now.

Just where will this project come out and how can you help? We will see where it goes! Keep an eye on Pike County Times for updates.

Look for before and after pictures below as well as pictures from Barnesville's walking trail.

These are Pirate Trail pictures that were submitted by Mr. Clark.

Update 8.11.15: These are Pirate Trail picture updates from where I walked the trail last week. I did not walk past the caution tape to see what had been done farther down, but it was obvious that some work has been done on the trails. I also saw a board replaced on Leanna's Walkway and noted that at least one tree looked like it had been cut and pulled off of the trail.

More discussions are ongoing on this project including the water level that seems to be lower than it was when this wetlands area was first filled with pathways. Pike County Times will continue to update on the situation.

These are Barnesville trail pictures that were submitted by Mr. Clark.