KINGSLAND — The Southeastern Trust for Parks and Land has donated a 300-acre tract in a densely populated area in Kingsland to the Camden County Public Service Authority.
The tract, called Gum Branch Nature Preserve, runs along the south side of Colerain Road nearly two miles from Winding Road to Gross Road.
The tract has an abandoned railroad bed that supporters envision as a link to existing trails in White Oak and Woodbine that are part of the Georgia Coast Rail Trail System.
Terry Landreth, the Camden County representative for the Georgia Coast Rail Trail committee, said the tract, located near the Laurel Island development, will be restricted to “passive recreation.”
“It could mimic the Woodbine trail,” Landreth said of the 4-mile trail that runs from the Satilla River south to Liza Rudolph Road.
If a trail is built on the abandoned rail bed, Landreth said it could link Camden County High School, the Lakes subdivision, Laurel Island and other planned trails in the area. It can also provide safer walking routes for children walking and biking to school and create a connection between the state park, the Sugar Mill Tabby Ruins and Cumberland Island National Seashore.
St. Marys officials have been discussing a trail that will run from the city’s historic waterfront district to Crooked River State Park. Landreth said the longterm goal is to build a trail system that links by water to the continuation of a trail in Fernandina, Fla.
The trails will also be part of the East Coast Greenway, which will stretch from Maine to Key West, Fla., when completed.
So far, about 20 percent of the trail is completed in Georgia, but supporters believe work will continue to pick up as the economy improves.
“We’re excited about the potential of the site to link into the trail system,” Landreth said.