Nature trail in works at Laurens fishing area

A nature trail at Hugh M. Gillis Public Fishing Area (PFA) is scheduled to open this summer.

The 3.75-mile trail, which follows an abandoned railway bed that runs through the northern end of the PFA, is designed to emphasize natural habitats and habitat/wildlife relationships. The walk winds through forested wetlands, planted pines, longleaf pine and scrub oak wiregrass, stands of upland pine and mixed hardwoods, Altamaha grit outcroppings, and along the banks of Lake Hugh Gillis.

There are rest areas and a wooden observation deck overlooking a natural wetland and creek bed. The trail also features angler access to Gillis Lake.

Bryant Bowen, a fisheries biologist with the Georgia Wildlife Resources Division, described the walkway as a unique opportunity to get away.

The trail was built using state watchable wildlife grant funds.

Dogs on leash are allowed. So are bicyclists, as long as they do not damage the trail or disturb others, Bowen said.

A nature trail at Hugh M. Gillis Public Fishing Area (PFA) is scheduled to open this summer.