WHAT’S IN A NAME: The Thread
Published 12:00 pm Sunday, February 26, 2023
LaGrange’s network of multi-use trails, The Thread, is so named because it weaves through the city connecting historic neighborhoods, public parks, businesses and schools.
Originally envisioned as a 29-mile trail, plans for the project have already expanded to 31 miles, and it may expand further.
The Thread is open to walkers, runners, cyclists, skaters and basically all types of non-motorized vehicles. Motorized vehicles are not allowed except for motorized wheelchairs.
The Thread was originally envisioned by LaGrange resident Bob Goehring, who got the idea while visiting family in France. When Goehring returned home, he proposed that LaGrange start its own series of trails in order to promote exercise and community.
The city then began to research similar trails nearby to see if the project was feasible. Plans for the project began in 2015 and the city began working with community members, who formed the Friends of the Thread to support the project.
The master plan for the Thread was adopted by the LaGrange City Council on Sept. 27, 2016, and construction started in March 2017 at Granger Park.
The first 1.3-mile segment of The Thread, then called the Model Mile, was opened in 2017.
Since then, ten miles of the trail have been completed.
Completed portions of the Thread include the Granger Park trail, which opened in July 2017, the Eastside Park trail in July 2018, the LaGrange College trail in May 2019 and the Country Club trail in 2019 and the Coleman Center trail at LaGrange College.
The Thread is funded through Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) funds and additional fundraising efforts through Friends of the Thread, such as Dancing for the Thread.
At a ribbon cutting for the first segment of The Thread in 2017, former LaGrange Mayor Jim Thornton explained the name.
“What is exciting to me about the Thread is that it does two things,” Thornton said. “One is — and it is an homage to the name — it actually sews together the community of LaGrange. … It is bringing together all of these parts of our city where we are experiencing transformative growth,” Thornton said.