Chamber Spotlight: Georgia Hi-Lo trail

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After four years of being frustrated with a lack of safe cycling and economic opportunities in her small town, Mary Charles Howard decided to take matters into her own hands in 2019, starting the Georgia Hi-Lo Trail. After seeing the success of Athens’ own Firefly Trail, she decided to build on the great work of that trail by extending Firefly Trail’s original 39-mile trail south another 200 miles, with the Georgia Hi-Lo Trail, through Sandersville and beyond, ending in Savannah. Georgia Hi-Lo Trail teaches inexperienced riders how to properly ride mountain bikes with confidence and encourages experienced mountain bikers to explore their trails and help them grow. Currently, they are also encouraging their riders to volunteer to help Georgia Hi-Lo in cleaning and creating trails not being used yet, which is their way of inspiring good land stewardship so the trails will be available for generations to come. Georgia Hi-Lo also provides bike camps for kids and holds the Athens to Savannah Ride annually each October.

With each mile of trail built, the Georgia Hi-Lo Trail ignites opportunities for over 525,000 Georgians who live in the 20+ rural communities Hi-Lo touches. By using mountain biking as their tool, they work to develop confidence and curiosity in the next generation of leaders, but their riders also need safe trail space. Georgia Hi-Lo values making trails challenging, fun, and safe for this generation of riders and future generations. While their long-term goal is to build the Georgia Hi-Lo Trail and to develop sites, their current goal is to build a community of mountain bike riders of all ages that will continue to keep the bike trails active and growing.

Georgia Hi-Lo has become increasingly more involved in the community. Kids Bike League holds summer camp, winter camp, and monthly ride days in Twin City, Georgia. Every October, the Athens to Savannah Ride travels through and stops in Emanuel County, Georgia as well. The very reason they are Chamber members is to connect and be involved with the community. This year, they have been working with the mayor of Twin City to build mountain bike trails in Twin City at the Carilee Coleman Park. The park was a formerly closed site owned by the city. When Georgia Hi-Lo asked the mayor about it, he gave them the land. After the trails were built, the mayor kept the gates to the park open and hasn’t closed them since.

Location: 459 Sunhill Grange Road, Sandersville, GA 31082

(Mailing Address ONLY—no permanent office address yet.)

Hours of Operation: Monday-Friday 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Phone Number: (706) 338-8054

Website: www.georgiahilo.com

Social Media: Facebook (facebook.com/georgiahilo), Twitter (@AthSavRide), Instagram (@georgiahilo, @athens_to_savannah)

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