By Kristin Love
Geiger Trail, originally named after one of Elachee’s five founding mothers, Becky Geiger, has been the entrance for the youngest of visitors into Chicopee Woods since its creation in 2003. This paved pathway, part of the 12.24-mile Chicopee Woods Hiking Trail system, has provided wheeled and pedestrian access for guests to venture further into the Nature Preserve immediately surrounding Elachee Nature Science Center. It also leads to Elachee’s picnic area, wooden tables that have welcomed tens of thousands of school children and families alike over Elachee’s many decades in the Hall County community.
With 20 years of persistent use, however, many footprints and wheel prints have contributed to the degradation of one of the only wooden components of the trail, what we at Elachee lovingly refer to as the Geiger Bridge. The once-proud bridge has suffered in the elements, showing many breakoffs and rotten boards. This is where the awesome, the incredible, the magnanimous, Elachee Trail Crew comes in!
After many hours of planning, it was determined that repair was not in the best interest, a complete demolition was in order! So, on Wednesday, March 8, 2023, this volunteer cohort took to the first step; dismantling the waterlogged bridge, piece by piece and hauling out the refuse.
Further steps utilized the many skills of Trail Crew members: those with engineering backgrounds, others many decades of experience in wood working, and some with positive attitudes and strong backs to keep the project rolling. After three days of long, arduous work, the new Geiger Bridge was unveiled, displaying a sturdy foundation, countless support beams and what Elachee hopes for is another 20 years of connecting our community with the Chicopee Woods.
This project was made possible by a grant from the Chattahoochee Oconee Forests Interpretation Fund, managed by the North Georgia Community Foundation. Elachee is also incredibly grateful for the many hours of very arduous labor and effort donated by the Elachee Trail Crew volunteers, without which this bridge replacement would not have been possible.
Cross the Bridge
Upcoming participants to the 13th Annual Trillium Trek Trail Run (5k, 10k and Half Marathon races) will all cross this remarkably well-constructed bridge on April 29, 2023!
Race registration closes April 19, 2023. Secure your spot here if you want to run wild at Elachee, along the Chicopee Woods trails! https://www.elachee.org/trillium-trek
Ready to Volunteer at Elachee?
If you would like to share your time and talents by joining Elachee’s ecosystem as a volunteer, click here to learn more.
Engage with Elachee this spring: April and May 2023 Happenings Flyer