LILBURN - Jack Bolton knows firsthand about the need for more walking trails in Lilburn.
The mayor, who began walking for his health after being diagnosed with diabetes, is proud to open the Camp Creek Greenway, a long-awaited city project.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, as hundreds gather in City Park for Lilburn Daze.
"It'll be not only an opportunity for exercise but an opportunity to see wildlife," said Bolton, adding that he has spotted birds and rabbit when he has walked to trail, and he wouldn't be surprised if people saw deer there.
Much of the 1.5-mile trail, which is in its first phase, is in floodplain and wilderness, Bolton said, creating the need for boardwalks in some areas. Concrete was poured in some of the final sections last week.
"It's been our goal for at least the past 15 years to create a network of sidewalks. The trail ties several of those major sidewalks together," he said. "People can get to the park without having to get in their car."
The $2 million first phase carries the trail from Rockbridge Road to the railroad tracks across from City Park. The project was funded through sales tax dollars and some state grant money.
Leaders have planned a second phase through the park, across Killian Hill Road to Arcado Road. That would create linkages to Central Baptist Church and the post office.
With the recent county purchase of land on the other side of Rockbridge Road, Bolton said officials have agreed to extend the trail through that park. In the future, the creek could also be extended in the other direction, he added.
"It's an absolute necessity that Lilburn provide these amenities to our city," said the outgoing mayor. "I'm real proud we've been able to finish this first phase in my term."