Planks, still heavy with the aroma of fresh-cut wood, line the boardwalks. Tree shadows darken the grass. Stout, knotted limbs and rope-thin saplings skirt the trail.
A dive-bombing dragonfly buzzes along. It slows, hovering over a handrail to watch walkers and joggers clip-clop along the new path.
Sections of the Big Creek Greenway trail opened last week. The 12-foot-wide concrete and wooden footpath is drawing attention from residents and visitors alike.
Forsyth residents Lauren Zaleski and Kristen DeBoard strolled along the linear park Wednesday afternoon.
DeBoard found the greenway to be in a “convenient location” and a “very nice” addition to the county’s parks.
Riding his bike, Hall County resident John Moss marveled at “all the beautiful trees.”
“I was looking up at them, riding my bike, and I almost lost my balance,” Moss said. “I got distracted. There’s so many and there’s such variety.”
Two phases of the trail, totaling about three miles, opened last week.
Another section, which will extend it to nearly seven miles between McFarland Boulevard and Bethelview Road, is in the works.
Currently, residents can access the trail only at its Bethelview Road trailhead. But that will change as other phases are finished.
Moss said the progress made “looks pretty good so far ... very well put together.”
He said he especially liked that the trail was just a couple exits south on Ga. 400.
“It’s not too far for me,” he said, stopping to wave to another cyclist zipping past.
On a recent afternoon, walkers, joggers and bikers greeted each other with a nod or smile. Some brought their pets along.
Jimmy Bell of Forsyth County was accompanied by his 3-year-old Weimaraner. The canine squinted its eyes in the sunlight, panting. Its head darted to the left as a bee buzzed past.
“She loves it,” he said, patting the dog’s back.
Residents are asked to put a leash on their pets if they take them on the trail.
The Big Creek Greenway is open during daylight hours. Parking is available at the Bethelview Road trailhead.