Presently walkers and bikers have to figure out how far they’ve gone using a myriad of spray-painted markers, many of which have disappeared over time.
The first trail to get the markers will be the Ross-Ridge Trail along the Oostanaula River out around State Mutual Stadium. Rome Environmental Planner Eric Lindberg said he hopes the markers will be in place by April 22 when the city hosts a Walk to Lunch event in the park. Neither Lindberg nor Rome-Floyd Planning Director Sue Hiller are sure when the rest of the markers would be placed.
The minute hawthorn leaf depicted on the markers is unique to the Rome area. Several of the trees can be found along the trail along Silver Creek between downtown and East 12th Street. Overlaying the veins inside the leaf are Rome’s three rivers.
Beginning at 11:30 a.m. on April 22, Romans will gather at the library parking lot off Riverside Parkway and walk out to the new ECO center at Ridge Ferry Park, a distance of three-quarters of a mile. Citizens can either walk or ride their bicycles.
Lunch will be provided at no charge, and participants will have an opportunity to get a tour of the environmental education center, which will be called the ECO Center. (ECO is an acronym for Etowah, Coosa and Oostanaula, the three rivers of Rome.)
After lunch and the tours, it’s still three quarters of a mile back to the library parking lot.
Hiller said Bike! Walk! Northwest Georgia provided sufficient funding to purchase 200 of the markers, which will ultimately dot the trail along the top of the levee and other trails throughout the city and county.