The Path Foundation was founded in 1991 by three prominent Atlantans - Edwin McBrayer Jr., Pete Pellegrini, and Maxine Rock. They felt that city planners in Atlanta were only focusing on building more and more roads (yes, there are a whole lot of roads in this city) and should do more to build greenways and promote alternative forms of transportation.

So, they formed a non-profit organization to lobby for the development of multi-use trails throughout Georgia, and Atlanta in particular. They built a board of directors out of several influential Atlanta citizens and got to work raising funds. Their first fund raiser in 1995 netted $2.5 million private and $3.2 million public. This was followed by another major campaign in 2000.

So what does PATH do with all this money they raise? Mainly, they build multi-use trails in and around Atlanta. Sometimes, these take the form of bike lanes and sometimes they are dedicated paths closed to motorized traffic. In each case, they are well marked and in good condition. These trails are designed to connect neighborhoods, schools, commercial centers, and MARTA all together so people can get around without cars.

There are two main trails at this point: the Silver Comet Trail and the Atlanta to Stone Mountain Trail. The former is a rails to trails project where old railroad tracks are converted into paved bicycle trails. It is not yet completed yet but when done, it will go all the way from Smyrna (near Atlanta) to the Alabama state line. There, it will hook up with another trail which will take it all the way to Anniston, AL. This will be a total distance of about 100 miles. The Atlanta-Stone Mountain trail is about 18 miles one-way and exists on both roads and bike paths.

Of course, neither of these are really great for commuting. Instead, they are more for recreation. So the other PATH trails focus on connecting neighborhoods to the Atlanta-Stone Mountain trail or to MARTA stations. They're also working on connecting the Georgia State University dorms to the school itself and several trails on the west side of the city. In all, this will total over 200 miles of greenways through the city.

The PATH Foundation exists mainly to build trails and encourage people to use non-polluting forms of transportation. Along the way, they're building some really nice places to enjoy a weekend getting some exercise. The Atlanta-Stone Mountain trail is quite a ride with some serious hills as well as some nice long flat sections. It's nice not having to worry about cars and trucks when you're out on the bike.

Finally, the PATH Foundation website is available at, the source of some of the material in the first two paragraphs of this node.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.