A national group is working toward a long-term vision of providing a way for hikers on the Appalachian Trail to continue south until they reach the ocean.
They envision the Chattahoochee River, which runs through metro Atlanta, as a way to allow hikers to reach the Gulf of Mexico after they finish the Appalachian Trail, either on trails along its banks or in a canoe or kayak.
The Chattahoochee's headwaters, in the north Georgia mountains, are only a few miles from the southernmost section of the Appalachian Trail, which ends in Georgia.
Curt Soper, the Georgia-Alabama state director of the Trust for Public Land, says the group has already managed to acquire 17,000 acres of land that touch 76 river miles from the Chattahoochee's headwaters to Columbus.
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