Thursday, 24 September 2015
Within Macon County, lies 47 miles of the Appalachian Trail, and Franklin falls just 11 miles north of the AT's trailhead at Springer Mountain, Ga. With Franklin's position near the trail, and the fact that just five years ago Franklin became the first town to be designated as a trail town, the Appalachian Trail has proved to be a great benefit for the Franklin economy.
For the first time, Macon County transit launched a pilot program this year to provide transportation to and from the trail to bring more hikers into town, as well as give residents a chance to spend the day hiking. Over the last few years, Macon County Transit has often received phone calls from hikers heading to town to request a ride from the trail. The transit has not only provided the service to hikers, but the transit has also shuttled local residents to and from various trails so they can enjoy a day in the woods. The cost for the service is the same as if the transit was being used around town. Macon County Transit Director Kim Angel developed a trial program this summer that would send a transit shuttle, twice a day, once in the morning and once in the afternoon, to pick up hikers out on U.S. 64. The shuttle runs for the six-week thru-hiking season.