One of GFCA’s major initiatives over the past 3 years has been development of plans for a comprehensive trails system to connect the Great Falls community – allowing residents to transit and recreate on foot or by bike from their neighborhoods to other points of interest in Great Falls such as the Village, schools, and parks.
Recent projects beginning to fill out the Georgetown Pike trail between the Village and Seneca Rd are a direct result of this effort. But these are just the beginning stages of what will be many years of work to complete and require a consistent Vision pursued with persistence and diligence in funding and construction.
Another important foundation has just been set: on Sep 19 the GFCA Executive Board formally adopted a set of policies called: “GFCA Guidelines for Trail Design and Construction in Great Falls”. This is the result of 18 months of exploration into the reasons why Great Falls trail development has failed in the past both overall and at the trail project level. In addition to work of our task force, we worked with other local organizations, most notably Trailblazers, as well as County staff, on the development and specific conclusions.
The new Guidelines:
- Establish a clear Vision for the development of a comprehensive trails system in Great Falls
- Set principles to be followed in trails development, derived from lessons learned from past projects
- Protect our community’s unique historic and aesthetic character, as well as our environment
- Ensure that trails built in the future will be functional, durable, and support the needs of the community for decades.
The Guidelines are available here. Our trails team is already hard at work with the county and other authorities on their implementation. The next phases of the Georgetown Pike Trail (Phases III and IV, mentioned in another article) have been designed consistent with these guidelines.If you have an interest in Trails and would like to be on an email distribution list for future updates, please send your name, home address, and email address to: firstname.lastname@example.org