As Commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources, I understand the value that publicly accessible outdoor recreation provides for a community. Getting the community more involved in outdoor recreation promotes a greater awareness of the importance of our natural resources, and I’m excited that the greater Columbus community continues to take steps to bring additional outdoor opportunities to its citizens.
– Mark Williams, Commissioner of Department of Natural Resources
As a professionally-designed, natural-surface trail system that is nearby but still feels “away from it all,” Standing Boy Trails will fill a significant gap in what we currently offer as a city. And even for those who do not utilize the trails to hike, trail run, and mountain bike on a regular basis, the existence of a trail system like Standing Boy Trails will materially boost our image as a city that is a desirable place to live, work, and visit.
– Skip Henderson, Mayor of Columbus
We have reviewed studies and we have seen what has happened in other communities. As a result, we are absolutely convinced the economic benefits from Standing Boy Trails will be real and material. Additionally, it will provide a huge boost to our efforts to attract and retain talented workers and desirable businesses.
– Brian Anderson, President and CEO of the Greater Columbus Georgia Chamber of Commerce
Part of strategy for the destination is promoting Columbus as a place for adventure. We are confident Standing Boy Trails will not only be a significant addition to our visitor experience, but will also attract a meaningful number of visitors in its own right. As a leisure destination, Standing Boy, whitewater, zip line, RiverWalk, and so much more provide a great opportunity for just about anyone — even if it’s just everyone’s favorite past time, people watching.
– Peter Bowden, President-CEO of VisitColumbusGA
As chair of the Vibrant & Connected Places Action Area for Columbus 2025, our region’s strategic plan, I’m fascinated by the construction of professionally designed multi-use trails at Standing Boy. We’re realizing that our network of places for year-round outdoor recreation is a tremendous draw for tourists that also helps us attract and engage new and current residents. These high-quality public spaces can transform the way we interact with each other and with the world around us; they’re significant assets for our community.
– Betsy Covington, Chair of Vibrant & Connected Places Action Area for Columbus 2025 and President and CEO of the Community Foundation of the Chattahoochee Valley
The revitalization of our cities downtown core, Uptown Columbus, can be traced to the river restoration project that has brought an urban adventurism to our community. These projects have led Columbus to host some of the top performers from around the world in the areas of freestyle kayaking (National Freestyle Championships), stand-up paddle boarding (World Paddle Board Championships), and mountain bike racing (UCI City Mountain Bike Challenge). Standing Boy Trails will complement the river and make our community an even attractive destination – and a community that will continue to build a brand of adventure right in the heart of our city.
– Ross Horner, President of Uptown Columbus Inc. and Whitewater Management LLC
Standing Boy Trails will bring a world class trail system into the city limits of Columbus. These trails will be a great asset to anyone wanting to get outdoors to hike, run or bike without having to drive 45 minutes. I know the local running community has been waiting for this project to happen for years. This trail system will open up a whole new opportunity for local citizens and visitors to experience this great property that has been the best kept secret in Columbus.
– Reggie Luther, Co-owner of Big Dog and Board Member of Columbus Road Runners
For years, CVA SORBA has worked closely with land managers, allied outdoor organizations, and others to build and maintain fun, challenging, and sustainable trails throughout the Chattahoochee Valley Area. Our volunteers donate hundreds of hours each year to maintain our existing trail systems. While we are proud of our existing trail systems, twenty-five miles of professionally designed and constructed trail on the terrain that exists at Standing Boy will represent a monumental step forward.
We are excited about growing our organization along with Standing Boy Trails. Trail maintenance is obviously important and will not be overlooked, but we are most excited about hosting beginner rides and doing whatever else we can to increase the number of kids and adults having fun on their bikes in the woods. We are so grateful for the support from our members, community and governmental agencies, and others that are helping make this dream a reality!
– Beth Reed-Richardson, President of the Chattahoochee Valley Area chapter of the Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association
With each new addition to our outdoor adventure in Columbus, we become a more vibrant community and a brighter destination for those seeking a fun place to visit. People are here now enjoying their ‘winter grounds’ for kayaking, since this is one of the warmest areas in winter for kayaking. We are also becoming known as a great biking community. Standing Boy Tails will be a wonderful new adventure for our biking enthusiast and visitors.
– Dan Gilbert, President of Whitewater Express
Part of the mission of Bicycle Columbus is to help make our city a place that attracts visitors and new residents. Adding a first-class mountain bike facility at Standing Boy fits perfectly into this goal by complementing the whitewater course and the Dragonfly trails, both of which already attract visitors. It also contributes to a high quality of life, which is itself a powerful economic engine. This is a smart investment in the city, enhancing its ability attract and keep a workforce, encouraging healthy activities in its citizens, and becoming a tourist destination.
– Pat McHenry, President of Bicycle Columbus, Inc.
I believe building trails at Standing Boy is a great solution and use of the property. The trails can be used by walkers, runners and mountain bikers. Therefore, many citizens can use and enjoy this beautiful 1600 acres, but the natural condition of the property will be preserved.
– Will Peek, resident on Old River Road
Standing Boy Trails will offer twenty-five miles of various experiences for visitors. From a beginner skills development loop to introduce children and new riders to the sport, to remote lakeside views for hikers, runners, and riders seeking solitude, to rocky technical trails which will appeal to enthusiasts; Standing Boy checks a lot of the boxes we like to see in large multi-use trail systems near population centers.
Standing Boy Trails will make numerous positive impacts on Columbus and the region. As the second largest metropolitan area in Georgia, Columbus has a large community but no large community trail systems. These trails will inspire hikers, runners, and riders to get outside and engage in an active lifestyle. Additionally, Georgia’s Department of Natural Resources is continually managing and restoring the unique ecosystems at Standing Boy, which will provide excellent opportunities for Columbus residents to learn more about the interesting nature in their city.
The work in Uptown to bring world class whitewater recreation along with an extensive greenway system shows the community’s support for outdoor recreation to improve quality of life and welcome tourists. Standing Boy Trails will attract riders from Florida, southern Georgia, and Alabama regularly. It will also become a frequent destination for Atlanta trail users. And, visitors from northern states will likely add it to a rotation of rapidly growing popular winter riding destinations.
– Steve Kasacek, Trail Solutions Project Manager