CRICKET FROG TRAIL
The Cricket Frog Trail is rail-trail running through central Newton County, along the route once travelled by the Central of Georgia Railroad. At present, approximately 5.4 miles west of the Alcovy River and 8.2 miles east of the Alcovy River have been paved and are open for public use. Newton Trails is working to raise the money needed to renovate the old railroad trestle across the Alcovy River into a modern trail bridge. When that project is complete, the Cricket Frog Trail will offer 14 continuous, paved miles. Our vision is to eventually extend it to Newborn and Porterdale, which would create an 18 mile trail, as well as to connect it to other Newton County trails, communities, and neighborhoods.
PARKING & ACCESS
Covington: Public parking available in the parking deck located at 1166 Elm Street NE, Covington, Georgia 30014.
Mansfield: Public parking available at Beaver Park (0.9 miles east of GA-11 on Hwy 213), at the Hwy 213 Parking Area (1.3 miles west of GA-11 on Hwy 213), and at Old Starrsville Road.
ABOUT THE CRICKET FROG TRAIL
The Cricket Frog Trail is built on the section of the old railroad right-of-way that runs 14.4 miles from Lakeview Drive, just inside Covington's western city limit to Ziegler Road, just east of Mansfield. It travels through historic Covington, Starsville, and Mansfield as well as past scenic pastures and woodlands. Future plans call for the trail to begin in Porterdale and end in Newborn.
The current trail segments include:
· Turner Lake Road to Elm Street in Covington. Park at Turner Lake Park or the parking deck across Elm Street from the Newton County Administration Building.
· Elm Street to Conyers Street in Covington. Park in the parking deck across Elm Street from the Newton County Administration Building or at Legion Field.
· Conyers Street to Covington Bypass.
· Covington Bypass (Hwy 36) to East End Road. Park just off Piper Road at the trail crossing. East End Road to Alcovy River. Note that this section is unpaved and the bridge over the river is closed to the public until it can be renovated for safe passage.
· Alcovy River to Gaithers Road. Park at Old Starsville Road or on Highway 213 about a quarter mile west of Gaithers Road.
· Gaithers Road to Ziegler Road (east of Mansfield). Park in downtown Mansfield or at Beaver Park.
The bridge located at the Alcovy River is closed to the public until it can be renovated for safe passage.
THE CRICKET FROG
Cricket frogs (Acris crepitans) are a small (0.75 to 1.5 inches) species of tree frog that mostly lives on the ground. Their color varies from gray, brown, or green, and many have a brown to orange or green stripe down the center of their back and a triangular marking on the top of their head.
Northern cricket frogs live in the Piedmont and mountain regions of the Southeast, Southern cricket frogs in the Coastal Plain. Although found in almost any moist habitat, cricket frogs are most common along edges of lakes, permanent wetlands and slow-moving streams. They prefer open, shallow water with plenty of vegetation. The Georgia Wildlife Federation identifies the Northern cricket frog as one of the native species in the Alcovy River area, which the Cricket Frog Trail crosses.
Cricket frogs feed on small insects, mostly mosquitoes. The call of the cricket frog resembles the sound of crickets or marbles clicking together. The cricket frog is one of the best amphibian jumpers in the world, reaching a height of three feet, over 60 times its body length.
POTENTIAL IMPACT OF THE CRICKET FROG TRAIL IN NEWTON COUNTY
We're excited about having a beautiful rail trail in Newton County and know that Cricket Frog Trail will provide many benefits for our community.
SUPPORT THE LOCAL ECONOMY
As demonstrated across the country in trail-oriented communities, Cricket Frog Trail will attract high quality industry and employees who seek healthy lifestyles and outdoor recreation opportunities. Rail trails also attract tourists who spend money in the towns along the trail. Subsequently, trails help to grow small business opportunities benefiting the local economy.
PROVIDE ALTERNATIVE TRANSPORTATION OPTIONS
Free and open to the public, trails serve citizens of all economic backgrounds. As a former rail line running through central Newton County, Cricket Frog Trail will connect all five Newton County cities, diverse neighborhoods, commercial areas, historic districts, and civic and recreation facilities. With a gentle grade, the rail trail is accessible to people of all ages and abilities.
PRESERVE HISTORY AND THE ENVIRONMENT
Cricket Frog Trail will also help preserve and share the history and natural beauty of Newton County. Moving at a slower pace than those traveling by car, pedestrians and cyclists take time to read historic markers, photograph old buildings and natural scenery, and seek out the stories behind the places they visit, all of which can fuel preservation efforts.
INCREASE RECREATION OPPORTUNITIES
Another important benefit will be residents' increased access to recreation. According to the 2016 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation County Health Rankings, 34 percent of Newton County adults are obese, compared to 29 percent statewide. Additionally, 30 percent of Newton County adults are inactive, compared to 25 percent statewide. CDC data shows a strong correlation between communities with high incidences of walking and biking and lower levels of obesity-related illnesses like diabetes.