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Greenway grows longer
Section opens off MacFarland Road
Big Creek Phase 1 2 es
James Embro, left, and Jeff Pruitt talk Friday about the construction of the most recent part of the Big Creek Greenway. - photo by Emily Saunders
The next phase of the Big Creek Greenway is open to the public.

Forsyth County officials held a ribbon cutting ceremony Friday at the trailhead on McFarland Parkway.

The newest stretch of the path, which winds along Big Creek, extends about 4 miles from McFarland to Fowler Park on Hwy. 9.

At that point, it connects with two other phases of the 12-foot-wide concrete and boardwalk trail, which cover about 3 miles from Hwy. 9 to Bethelview Road. Those sections opened in September.

Jerry Kinsey, director of parks and recreation, said the department has received “great feedback” on the trail.

“The Big Creek Greenway is another wonderful recreational amenity we are very pleased to be able to provide to our citizens,” he said.

A temporary parking area for the newly opened phase of the trail on McFarland Parkway can accommodate about 50 vehicles.

Primary parking, scheduled to become available in 2011, will come with the completion of Fowler Park.

The design process has begun for the next two phases of the trail, which will connect to McGinnis Ferry Road in the south and Sawnee Mountain Preserve on Spot Road to the north.

The trail will ultimately cover about 15 miles in the county.

Money for the greenway comes from the $100 million parks, recreation and green space bond, as well as impact fees and state and federal funding.

Forsyth County Commissioners Jim Boff and Jim Harrell and Commission Chairman Charles Laughinghouse were among those who attended Friday’s ceremony.