Starr's Mill and Lake, Peachtree City, GA


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"With over 100 miles of paved cart paths, visitors enjoy a host of activities that are easily   
accessible by one of Peachtree City's signature vehicles -- a golf cart! Tree-lined
roadways and scenic views encourage guests to unwind and relax."
~ from the ExploreGeorgia.Org website

Residents sure appreciate all the tree-lined cart paths and scenic views, too!

Serenity:  the path winds through bright green spring leaves along Flat Creek.  (4-21-18)

Peachtree City's large network of multi-use paths was one of the reasons why Jim and I chose to make this our (hopefully) final place to own a house so we'd have a safe and easily accessible place to walk and ride our bikes right out our door as we age in place.

After living here for over a year and a half, we know we made the right decision to settle here. We love our house, yard, neighborhood, and community.

Part of the path in our neighborhood  (7-23-18)

The cart paths are an even bigger part of our new lifestyle than we thought they'd be. We spend a lot of our time walking on the extensive network of paths by ourselves or with the dogs, as well as riding our bikes and driving our golf cart to various places.

The paths connect all the neighborhood "villages" in Peachtree City (PTC) to shopping centers, schools, parks, lakes, and oh, yes, three golf courses with a total of 63 holes to play.

There are about 11,000 registered golf carts in Peachtree City, which has a population of approximately 36,000 people. No, not everyone plays golf. I'd venture to guess only about one-tenth of those carts are ever used for golfing.

Colorful carts lined up at the Night Market event at Drake Field  (10-13-18)

We lucked out when the couple who sold us our house threw in the golf cart as part of the deal. They were moving to a place where they couldn't use it. That saved us having to buy one.

The dogs love to ride in the cart, either in the front seat next to or between Jim and me or on the platform behind us. Jim modified the back seat with a piece of plywood padded with throw rugs so Cody, Casey, and/or Holly can ride back there comfortably. We always see lots of dogs riding in golf carts when we're out and about.

Jim secures Holly (L) and Casey in the back of the golf cart.  (2-27-18)

Like other residents, we enjoy getting out in our cart on pretty days just to ride by the lakes and parks, go shopping and run errands at both large and small businesses with access to the paths, take the dogs to the vet (shorter by cart than by car), attend special events, and take other trips around town.

It still amuses us to go to various shopping centers in town and see all the golf carts in their little spaces near the big sedans, SUVs, and pickup trucks. More than half the kids at McIntosh HS drive golf carts to school instead of cars, even though many parents can afford to buy them cars when they're old enough to drive. The HS senior who lives next door, e.g., has his own (used) Mercedes but usually takes the family's golf cart to class.

Just a few of the golf carts at the Night Market in October

When we attended the Night Market at Drake Field (north end of Lake Peachtree) in October we were amazed at the number of golf carts parked in the grass. Several thousand people, the most in the markets' one-year history, attended this popular monthly artists' market with live music. Most like us drove their carts because passenger car parking is so scarce in that area.

One reasons so many people attended the market in October was to celebrate the end product of some major renovations to Drake Field and Lake Peachtree during the past year.

This entry focuses on those and several other completed and proposed projects in Peachtree City. Because of the number of photos I'm including, I'm splitting them into two pages.


The city's namesake lake is back!!!

Folks relax on the swings near the Battery Way pier on the east side of Lake Peachtree  (10-30-18)

Lake Peachtree is the center of Peachtree City, both literally and figuratively. The lake was formed when Flat Creek was dammed in the late 1950s, when this large planned community was conceived and chartered. It has been one of the main centers of activities for residents ever since.

I don't know how many times the lake has been partially drained for maintenance and/or construction projects in the last 60 years but I do know the lake has been significantly lowered most of the time in the past 3 years. That's unfortunate for the folks who have water-front property and everyone else who enjoys the lake.

Looking across the "lake" from the area near the pier on 10-31-17, when the lake was very,
very low; homeowners' docks across the lake were left high and dry for over a year.

Two recent projects have each taken over a year to complete, leaving lots of mud and weeds exposed in the meantime.

We missed the first big project. From March of 2015 to April of 2016, water was lowered while the lake was dredged for silt removal, spillway and dam repairs, and subsequent vegetation removal. When the water was low and a lot of mud/silt was exposed, the weeds grew fast.

Fortunately, we saw Lake Peachtree at full pond for a few months after we moved here in the spring of 2017:

"Full pond" near the Battery Way pier on 8-23-17

Then, after a large SPLOST (Special Local Option Sales Tax) was passed and both PTC and Fayette County had sufficient funds, the most recent project began -- removal of the old spillway near the dam and construction of a new, modern "piano key weir" designed spillway that is very cool now that it's done.

The old spillway was nothing to write home about.  (5-19-17)

The new spillway is also built to withstand a major flood. That was the main reason for its construction, of course, not the aesthetics, but everyone is glad to see such an attractive water feature at the southern end of the lake now. I'll show photos of it in a little bit.

Officials began lowering the lake in August, 2017.

Here are some photos I took from the north end of the lake from or near the GA 54 bridge that show varying levels of water and the increase in vegetative growth in the mud/silt:

Going . . .   (9-9-17)

. . . going . . .   (9-15-17)

. . . GREEN!!  That didn't take long.  (10-1-17)

The weeds were much higher by summer. (6-18-18)

The next pictures are from the Battery Way pier area:

Water very low on 10-1-17  (another photo farther up in this entry shows the muddy view across the lake)

The water was still very low in June but the green weeds at least made the scene look less barren. (6-1-18)

During July workers were out in the middle of the mud and muck for several days, mowing the weeds with some sort of land-amphibious contraption that fascinated us:

This is what the lake bed near the pier looked like soon after the weeds were mowed:

What lake???  This looks more like a farm field.  (7-26-18)

North end of the lake before and after the weeds were mowed:



We had a lot of rain in August, which made the weeds grow back again. That meant some more mowing before the lake got filled.

Continued on the next page:  construction of the unique spillway, improvements at Drake Field and Spyglass Island, and other projects to enhance Peachtree City

Happy trails,

"Runtrails & Company" - Sue Norwood, Jim O'Neil, Cody, Casey, and Holly-pup

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2018 Sue Norwood and Jim O'Neil