Riding the Pinhoti Trail in Cave Spring

Matt Stahl, Stacey Carver and Michael Barger ride up a berm on the 7-plus miles of singletrack mountain bike trails on the Pinhoti Trail just south of Cave Spring in this file photo from April. There are access points to the trails at trailheads at Dead Goat Gate on Cedartown Highway and Jackson Chapel Road in Polk County.

There’s a lot of dirt moving around Floyd County these days.

There’s dirt moving in anticipation of bringing in new businesses. There’s dirt moving on school grounds in order to bring more and better opportunities for local students.

Lastly (and not least, in our opinion) we’re seeing some dirt moving on trail building in this area.

The official opening of the Pinhoti Trail section just south of Cave Spring was Saturday and the city broke ground on Phase One of the Mount Berry Trail on Friday.

The Pinhoti is a 7- to 8-mile section that can take a hiker or rider from Cedartown Highway all the way to the Alabama state line and into the Yellowhammer state.

If the Pinhoti Trail can find a direct (dirt or even paved off-road) connection to downtown Cave Spring from a new trailhead off Cedartown Highway — that’s going to be an epic addition to the already forward-moving small town nestled in southwestern Floyd County.

And the micro-distillery proposed for downtown Cave Spring is going to feed on that growth.

We’re glad to see Rome is finally getting to move forward with connecting the three new sections of trails off the west bank of the Oostanaula River: the Mount Berry Trail from behind the post office out to Big Dry Creek, along with two sections of the Redmond Trail.

One section will link the levee trail from East 12th Street out to the trailhead behind the post office and the other will carry on to the trail through Summerville Park to Redmond Circle.

We’re also glad the city is considering, or at least pricing at this point, putting a permanent surface on those walkways which are susceptible to flooding with any hint of a wet season (take this past winter for instance). FYI this project is funded by the 2013 SPLOST package.

Several of our other more recently opened dirt trails have fared well with a hand from locals. The trails at Jackson Hill continue to be a well-maintained resource right near downtown Rome.

Also, one positive note about our recent lack of rainfall is the GE trails at Garrard Park have dried out nicely. They’re a feature of our city that’s worth taking a look at.

While on the topic of trails (especially in this heat) let’s not forget the ones on the water.

If you’ve never canoed, kayaked or paddleboarded down the Etowah River from Grizzard Park to Heritage Park, it’s worth doing and gives you such an interesting view of the city.

Companies such as River Dog Paddle Co. and River Ratz kayak and inner tube rentals have really stepped up use of the rivers in recent years.

After all, the downtown network of trails is called the Heritage Riverways Trail system because the rivers were Rome’s original trails.

We’re glad to see the Coosa River Basin Initiative is planning to report bacterial levels in Rome-area waterways this summer. The idea is to let the community know places or times where it may not be safe to venture into the water.

And on a last note, we’re hoping everyone involved had a great time at this year’s Spirit of the Sun festival downtown and on our rivers. The festival’s idea is to herald the coming of summer ... and if you’ve been outside in the past week, you’ll know summer is certainly here.