Paved walking trails coming to Nash Farm

Hampton's Nash Farm Park, already a lure for residents who enjoy its scenic and historic beauty, is about to add another amenity that is certain to attract more visitors –– multi-use walking trails.

While the park, located at 4361 Jonesboro Road, is best known for its Civil War battle reenactments, it has become a popular place to walk and picnic, and the facility is used regularly by high school and collegiate track teams for events.

Park improvement will come through an award of $435,600 in Transportation Enhancement funds from the Georgia Department of Transportation.

Altogether, the total cost of the project is $549,500. Henry County will provide a 20 percent match that will be met entirely through in-kind services, including design and engineering, as well as surveying, clearing, and grading, according to county officials.

Construction is expected to begin on the project in the next 12-18 months.

Some 9,900 linear feet of 12-foot-wide, multi-purpose, paved trails are planned throughout the park. The grant for the work was recently accepted by the Henry County Board of Commissioners.

The trails will replace the "crush-and-run" gravel trails that meander around the park and battlefield area. The design of the new trails, which will be constructed of asphalt, will also improve handicap accessibility at the park, as well as accessibility for families with strollers, officials said. The paved trails are also expected to reduce maintenance costs for the county.

"Once they are paved, it's more or less a clean up thing, as opposed to continuous grading and surface repair, and the other things we would have to do on the gravel trails," explained District 4 Commissioner Reid Bowman.

The trails are part of the master plan completed in 2009 by Lose & Associates, which calls for a number of new elements to be added to Nash Farm Park over the next 10 to 15 years. These include an amphitheater for small-venue concerts and shows, a corporate pavilion, a bandstand, heirloom ornamental gardens, and shaded arbors with seating areas for re-enactment spectators.

The plan also allows for an orchard and a playground, a large open space for festivals, naturalized areas for habitat and bird watching, and ample parking.

Combined, county officials hope, the additional amenities will make the park more appealing to residents for day trips, and more attractive for use by event organizers.

For more information about Nash Farm Park, visit www.hcprd.org.