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Official: Use common sense when on trail
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Forsyth County News
Public safety officials are encouraging visitors to the new Big Creek Greenway to use common sense along the trail.

About 20 people attended a special meeting Tuesday, where Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Peter Sabella shared some safety concerns about the 3-mile path.

Chiefly, Sabella urged walkers, joggers and cyclists not to travel the trail after dark or alone and to turn down the music in their headphones, which will increase awareness of their surroundings.

Sabella said other factors to consider are weather and wild animals.

“Be aware of the weather forecast before you get on the trail,” Sabella said. “Believe it or not, this trail can flood ... there’s always some knucklehead ... that’s going to try and swim up the trail.”

Parts of the trail, which runs along Big Creek from Hwy. 9 to Bethelview Road, has actually flooded twice in the past month due to heavy rains.

Sabella said trail-goers may also spot coyotes, deer, dogs, foxes and snakes along the path.

“These animals are not going to be aggressive,” he said. “They’re going to be more scared of you than you are of them.”

Commissioner Jim Harrell said the meeting at Midway Park Community Building was “a good presentation.”

Harrell said he’s heard from residents who worry about a stretch that’s bordered with barbed wire.

“I am very concerned about it from a safety standpoint,” Harrell said after the meeting. “I am determined to push forward until we do something.”

Harrell added that he would like to add cameras to the trail “when we can afford it as a preventative measure.”

Sabella said the sheriff’s office has all-terrain vehicles to patrol the trail. Park rangers also frequent the property as well as other county parks.

County resident Amy Mack said she feels safe as long as officials are watching out for trouble.

“I’ve never felt unsafe on the trail,” she said. “I came to hear what they had to say [at the meeting].”

Another phase of the greenway, from McFarland Parkway to the Fowler Park site on Hwy. 9, will open in several weeks.