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Bike path addition open on Jekyll
Jekyll Island officials unveiled Monday the state park's newest stretch of recreational pathway, connecting the historic district with the south end of the island.

The new segment adds 1.4 miles to the island's previous 20 miles of biking and walking paths.

Bikers and walkers can now go from the island's historic district to the south end without having to share a road with motor vehicles.

"It has significantly improved safety," said Cliff Gawron, director of landscape and planning for the Jekyll Island Authority, which operates the island state park.

Extending more than 1,000 feet over the marsh, the path gives visitors an opportunity to view the coastal ecology. Explnatory signs will provide a better understanding of the diversity of marshlands.

"This allows them to get very close and experience the marsh, while protecting the environment," Gawron said.

Richard Royal, chairman of the Jekyll Island Authority board that oversees the park, says the path was constructed with the marsh environment in mind.

Janice Hall of Nashville, Ga., has been visiting the island with her family the past 15 years. She is excited to have access to a new part of the island.

"We are thrilled with the new bike paths," Hall said while biking Monday with her daughter. "They make riding so much easier."

The new path, paid for with $900,000 in Glynn County Special Local Option Sales Tax revenue, leaves only about a mile to be connected to the paths. Gawron said the authority hopes to close that gap in the future.

Also on the island's priority list are resurfacing paths north of the Jekyll Island Airport and constructing a bike path along the Downing Musgrove Causeway to ultimately tie into the Coastal Georgia Greenway, a 450-mile trail linking six coastal counties. If that path is constructed on schedule, it will be the first causeway construction project for the greenway.

* Reporter Nikki Wiley writes about government, business and other local topics. Contact her at, on Facebook or at 265-8320, ext. 321.

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