Effective immediately, the Chatham County Parks & Recreation Department has closed the historic McQueen’s Island “Rails to Trails” due to "concerns for public safety," a spokesperson for nearby Fort Pulaski National Monument says.
The McQueen’s Island Trail, west of Fort Pulaski, was created in 1996 on the abandoned Central of Georgia Railway tracks that once connected Savannah to Tybee Island. Over the years, high tides have eroded sections of the trail.
A restoration project was completed in 2009 to "stabilize the shoreline and encourage the growth of marsh grass. However, the 6-mile multipurpose trail has again succumbed to erosion, leaving huge portions impassible," the spokesperson says.
Currently, Chatham County is developing a plan to restore the trail. Due to the trail’s salt marsh location, the plan must be approved by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Until a plan has been finalized and approved, the western portion of the trail has been closed. The stabilization work is tentatively scheduled to begin in early 2014, according to the county.
The eastern portion of the trail - measuring 2.4 miles - remains open and may be accessed near the Entrance Station for Fort Pulaski National Monument.