THE NATURAL ENVIRONMENT
The railroad corridor on which Cricket Frog Trail is being developed is 14.9 miles long and includes roughly 145 acres of land. Outside city limits, the corridor runs through isolated woodlands and alongside picturesque pastureland. It crosses Dried Indian Creek, the Alcovy River, West Bear Creek, and East Bear Creek.
Our plan for the Cricket Frog Trail includes completing a full environmental assessment of the corridor. In the meantime, we can share some general information about the Piedmont region of Georgia and highlights of the ecologically-prized Alcovy River over which the trail passes.
THE PIEDMONT REGION
Much of the railroad corridor is defined by a mixed assortment of trees lining the railbed on both sides. The most common tree species are loblolly pine, red maple, sweetgum, tulip poplar, winged elm, and several species of oak trees, including water, white, red, and blackjack. Smaller species of trees include dogwood, black gum, buckeye, and hawthorn. Seasonal wildflowers may include coreopsis, ox-eye daisy, butterfly weed, blazing star, ironweed, and bull thistle.
Common fauna in the Piedmont region include white-tailed deer, opossum, raccoons, squirrels, brown thrashers, mockingbirds, and red-tailed hawks.
THE ALCOVY RIVER
Thanks to conservation efforts in the 1960s and 70s, the Alcovy River maintains a broad floodplain which has helped it escape much of the development that has impacted other rivers in Georgia. The longest of the four trestle bridges on the rail trail crosses the Alcovy River between East End Road and Old Starrsville Road.
The Alcovy River swamp forest is home to a wide variety of amphibians, reptiles, mammals and birds. These include cricket frogs, bird-voiced tree frogs, river cooters, flying squirrels, golden mice, pileated woodpeckers, and kingfishers.
The Alcovy River swamp forest claims the northern-most stand of tupelo gum trees, a water-loving species common in the coastal plain that is easily identified by its buttressed base and clear trunk. Other plant species include pawpaw, chestnut oak, ironwood, rivercane, and spider lily.