NEWTON'S FUTURE PLANS
Newton Trails envisions a broad network of multi-use trails that will connect the cities, neighborhoods, recreation facilities, and schools in Newton County and extend beyond Newton’s borders to link up with trail networks in adjacent counties and beyond.
Plans for a five-mile loop trail around the City of Oxford have been discussed. Much of the western part of the loop is expected to follow street corridors that were part of the original city plan but were never developed. The concept for the eastern part of the trail is to run along Dried Indian Creek, preferably along the already cleared sewer easement on the west side of the creek, or alternatively along the east side of the creek in Covington.
The southern and northern parts of the Oxford loop would most likely be directional signs along existing roads. The trail would connect with the coming pedistrian bridge over I-20 that will provide safe pedestrian and bike passage between Oxford and Covington.
Newton County and the City of Covington have been working on pedestrian and bicycle access through downtown Covington. Phase 1 of their work was to install sidewalks and bike lanes from the Newton County Library west along Floyd Street, past the historic square, and down Clark Street past Trailblazer Park to Turner Lake Park.
Phase 2 is extending the Eastside Trail beyond Eastside High School east to a future Alcovy River Trail and south parallel to the Covington ByPass. The completion of a short section connecting the Eastside Trail to the sidewalk system between Martin's Crossing Shopping Center and Covington Ford is a near term project.
Phase 3 of the County’s trail plan will go through Turner Lake Park and is expected to continue west along Turkey Creek (the same creek that starts in Oxford) down to the Yellow River and end at Porterdale Elementary School and the Newton County Career Academy.
Phase 4 includes the reclamation and development as a linear park or greenway the section of Dried Indian Creek that flows through downtown Covington. This will connect neighborhoods to shopping districts and also run north and connect to the Oxford Trail.
Plans include a trail that would extend from Turner Lake Park along Turkey Creek to Porterdale, thereby completing a trails network connecting Newton County’s three central cities. The City of Porterdale is developing the 27-acre Yellow River Park around which the trail will loop. Adjacent to the park property is the recently-renovated historic train depot. Newton Trails has assisted in the relocation of a rail car that will be converted into a comfort station to serve visitors to the park and Yellow River Water Trail.
Mansfield and Newborn
An unused railroad corridor running from Washington Street in Covington through Mansfield and on into Newborn is a ready-made opportunity for a 15-mile trail connecting Newton County's two smallest towns to Covington. The idea of a rail trail was first introduced in 2001 as part of a Master Plan for the City of Covington. Newton Trails is currently in negotiations with the Norfolk Southern Railroad in order to acquire the corridor and develop the trail. Read more.
Linking Beyond Newton County
In the Fall of 2009, the City of Covington, Newton County, the City of Conyers, and Rockdale County partnered with several non-profits to develop a Master Plan for a proposed Conyers to Covington Trail. While only a concept today, this endeavor could someday provide a direct linkage from Covington to the Atlanta BeltLine, the Silver Comet Trail, and the Chief Ladiga Trail all the way to Anniston, AL. The City of Conyers and Rockdale County are actively building portions of this trail today.