City reinventing West Point river park trails

Published 8:30 am Wednesday, June 7, 2023

The city of West Point has plans to make improvements to the River Park trails this year. 

West Point City Manager Ed Moon is leading the project starting with the Chattahoochee River Trail, the trail adjacent to the recreation area where the ballfields are located. 

“We are working to basically reinvent the River Park trails,” Moon said. 

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For the next several months, the city will be working to remove underbrush, widen and flatten the trail and add signage to the trail to help make it more accessible for visitors’ use. The city plans to complete the first phase of the project in the fall.

Members of the Middle Chattahoochee Group of the Sierra Club brought the issue to the city’s attention. After a nature walk, the group sent a letter with photos of the degrading walking trails to the city. 

“We just saw something that we thought could be improved and so we wrote a letter,” said Sierra Club co-chair Cathy Knight. “I’m very pleased with how quickly the city responded.” 

Knight said they also offered to volunteer their time to the project. 

The Sierra Club, founded in 1892, is the oldest conservation organization in the United States. The club has monthly outings to outdoor settings around the middle Chattahoochee area. Members also assist the US Army Corps of Engineers at West Point Lake and the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper with water clean-ups.

The project will continue throughout the park to make the perimeter trails like the Muscogee Ridge Trail and the Heritage Trail more accessible and easier to walk. 

“That was our biggest concern, not just that it was dangerous for us to hike on, but that it wasn’t being utilized by the public,” Knight said. 

The Sierra Club is a conservation group that covers Chattahoochee, Coweta, Fayette, Harris, Heard, Meriwether, Muskogee, Talbot and Troup Counties. The clubs goal is to protect the environment and encourage the community to spend time at outdoor spaces. 

“The park is just a real asset not only for West Point and Troup County but also anybody that goes to it,” Knight said. 

Moon encouraged visitors to spend the summer months enjoying the trails. They will remain accessible throughout the project. 

“We have a paved surface trail at the recreation area around the small ballfields and that connects to the Chattahoochee River Trail,” Moon said. “So I encourage people to get out and on those trails and enjoy being out in the park and walking along the river.”