Tourism trail gains momentum

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Officials hope to establish an oversight organization by year's end for a proposed tourism trail stretching across at least 20 Georgia counties, including Richmond and Columbia.

Beda Johnson, the Columbia County Convention and Visitors Bureau executive director, said she intends to meet with her counterpart from Kingsland, Ga., this week to write by-laws and develop an administrative structure for the group managing the proposed 13th Colony Heritage Tourism Trail.

"We're going to recommend that the group have a representative from each community or county that wants to be included," Ms. Johnson said.

The group would act like an advisory board, she said.

"The group size, because of the number of communities that want to be involved, is arduous," Ms. Johnson said. "We're trying to get to a more manageable group of people who are really committed to making it (the trail) a success."

Discussions for a tourism trail started last year. The trail likely would begin in Elbert County and stretch to the Georgia coast near Savannah, Ms. Johnson has said.

It would be similar to the South Carolina Heritage Corridor, which includes North Augusta's Living History Park.

The trail would mark sites historically significant to Georgia's Colonial Era and the Revolutionary War.

A faculty member at Augusta State University is creating an inventory of significant areas in the region to include. Ms. Johnson said that inventory should be finished next month.

"There's movement on this, but we haven't had any kind of big splash," Ms. Johnson said. "We're just trying to figure out the best way to structure it, so we can actually accomplish something instead of just talking about it."

Reach Donnie Fetter at (706) 868-1222, ext. 115, or donnie.fetter@augustachronicle.com.


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