Through the efforts of over 30 volunteers, the second phase of the Brushy Face trail is complete making the trail an approximate 1.3 mile loop. John Akridge, trail coordinator for the project said the entire project took about two years.
“The volunteers were great,” he said. “There were a few regulars and others just came when they could. Everybody came and did something to help.”
He added that the feedback from hikers who have used the trail was positive.
“Everyone enjoys it,” he said. “We get a lot of compliments.”
The project came to be through the efforts of seven local residents who purchased the land and donated it to the Highlands Cashiers Land Trust.
Griffen Bell, one of the seven residents who stepped up to conserve the land by donating it to the HCLT, said their goal was simple. “Our prime motive is conservation, we didn’t want to see things like convenience stores come in and take over the land.”
Trail development took approximately two years to complete. The first phase was completed last year and the extension to complete the loop was recently finished. Alkridge, referred to as “Boss Man” by other volunteers said “that the trail was solely completed using hand tools. Work included carving out the trial, removing dirt and relocating plants along the way.”
Julie Shott, Development Director of the HCLT, said that the trail is a great public asset. “It is so close and easily accessible for those in town.”
Ann Brown, one of the hikers on the trail at the time of the unveiling, said “It is gorgeous, it’s just lovely and it is circular so you know that you end up completing your hike right back where you started.”
The trail head is located on Hwy 28, just outside of Highlands and is open to the public.
By Brian O’Shea