Editor's note: The Herald & Review each day is listing a reason the Decatur region is loved. We're profiling people, places and history that are special to our region — and that make it a great place to live. See more here.
The Decatur Park District’s bike trail system is among the most popular amenities in the parks system, used by Decatur residents of every age, race and income level.
The trails began as a one-mile segment in Fairview Park, which opened July 4, 1994, and was constructed on an abandoned rail bed. It connected in 1996 to the 2.2-mile Rock Springs trail created by the Macon County Conservation District.
Park district leaders began planning in 1998 for a four-mile extension running from the west side of Fairview Park to Greendell Park. Construction started in 2010 and was completed in 2011 on that portion of the trail, which bumps up against Stevens Creek as it winds under railroad tracks, near residential neighborhoods and through wooded areas.
In all, seven different trail sections totaling more than 10 miles wind through Decatur, ranging in difficulty from the mostly flat trails near Kiwanis Park to the challenging hills at Rock Springs.
From Rock Springs, the trail connects to Kiwanis Park, then north all the way to Greendell Park. A trail was also created in Lincoln Park.
After years of planning, the park district plans within the next year to connect the Decatur trail to the Forsyth trail at Cresthaven Park. The extension will allow a cyclist to bike uninterrupted from Rock Springs Nature Center in the southern part of Decatur to Forsyth, north of Decatur.