Trail Rededication

Elachee celebrates the addition of interpretive signage along the Ed Dodd Loop hiking trail with one of its founding mothers.

Rosemary Wood Dodd, an Elachee founding mother and pillar of our community, was guest of honor at the recent rededication of the Ed Dodd Loop. The addition of new interpretive signage along this popular hiking trail aids visitors in learning about the diversity of plant and animal species that make their homes in Chicopee Woods.

Rosemary Wood Dodd pictured with daughter Jessie Johnston Carmon.

This 0.64-mile trail, part of the 12.24-mile Chicopee Woods Hiking Trail system, is named for Ed Dodd – a renowned Gainesville outdoorsman, conservationist, scoutmaster and creator of the Mark Trail daily cartoon series who was also Rosemary’s husband. An incredible resource to the visiting public, while hiking this trail nature lovers and school children alike experience a typical Northern Piedmont ecosystem within one of Georgia’s largest protected and most diverse green spaces, the Chicopee Woods Nature Preserve.

“Ed Dodd did not have children of his own. Every child who has and will come out to Elachee for camp or to visit the trails is like one of his own children or grandchildren, though. He would be thrilled!” shared Rosemary during a short ceremony held at the Ed Dodd Loop trailhead.

She was surrounded by numerous individuals who have dedicated decades of their lives in making Elachee and the surrounding Chicopee Woods Hiking Trail system what it is today, along with Elachee’s volunteer Trail Crew who currently maintain the trails for the visiting public to enjoy. Among this distinguished audience was Andrea Timpone who recalled her first visit to the Nature Preserve some four decades ago when she parked under the Elachee Drive bridge and hiked up the hill to experience this trail that Ed Dodd and others were carving out of the Chicopee Woods.

While at Elachee, Rosemary also had the opportunity to view other exhibit enhancements that are now available to the visitors. In addition, she took this opportunity to reacquaint herself with familiar nature art installations on display here.

Taking it all in she declared, “I challenge those who take on the next 100 years of Elachee to best what we’ve done! The most important thing for others to know: the magic is still here!”

We are so thankful for the legacy Rosemary has created at Elachee Nature Science Center.