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Greenway extension to Kelly Mill starts
Parks board hears update on project
Work on the fourth phase of the Big Creek Greenway has begun. The path is being extended from the Bethelview Road trailhead to Kelly Mill Road. - photo by File photo

FORSYTH COUNTY — Construction of the fourth phase of the Big Creek Greenway recently began.

During a meeting Tuesday night, the Forsyth County Parks and Recreation Board received an update on the extension of the popular walking and biking trail.

Jerry Kinsey, director of the parks and recreation department, said the path is being extended from the Bethelview Road trailhead to Kelly Mill Road.

A fifth — and final — phase of the project, for which no construction plans have been made, will take the trail from Kelly Mill to Sawnee Mountain Preserve off Tribble Gap Road.

The greenway currently runs from McFarland Parkway to Bethelview Road, a nearly 7-mile concrete and boardwalk stretch that the county completed in three phases. When the fourth and fifth phases are finished, it will span about 16 miles.

“We’re adding two miles [in phase four] and then there will be a little more on the south end down [from McFarland] to the county line,” Kinsey said. “Eventually it will hook onto the Alpharetta Greenway and Alpharetta will hook into Roswell and Roswell into the Silver Comet Trail.

“So someday you’ll be able to ride your bike all the way from Cumming to the Alabama line.”

Funding for the Big Creek Greenway has come from the $100 million parks and green space bond approved by voters in 2008.

Kinsey said the fourth phase will cost about $2.8 million, while the fifth likely will total $4.3 million.

Also during their meeting Tuesday, members of the parks board signed off on plans for the first phase of Lanierland Park in northeast Forsyth.

Plans call for four rectangle sports fields, with one of those being artificial turf, restroom and concession areas, parking and a maintenance building at the rear of the property.

Kinsey said the matter must be approved by the Forsyth County commission before it can be put out to bid.