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Chickamauga, Ga., City Manager John Culpepper wants the first phase of a canoe trail linking his city, the Civil War battlefield, Fort Oglethorpe and Camp Jordan open by spring.

"I think we could probably put something together pretty quickly," he said of the potential blueway along the West Chickamauga Creek.

There's already a put-in area at Lee and Gordon's Mills at the southern terminus of the trail, he said, but paddlers would need at least a place to take their boats before the first phase could be considered complete.

Mr. Culpepper, who also is president of Georgia's Civil War Commission, said he wants another such point near downtown Chickamauga.

In his grand vision, he'd like several other put-in and take-out points at the Chickamauga Battlefield and other areas along the creek as it snakes toward East Ridge and the Tennessee River.

"We've got to get these other partners involved," Mr. Culpepper said.

Walker County Commissioner Bebe Heiskell said the water trail sounded like a good idea, but it could become tricky if easements or rights-of-way had to be worked out for the access points.

"That's a possibility, but the details are the hard part," she said.

Mr. Culpepper envisions interpretive signs along the route near the battlefield explaining where certain Civil War units crossed the creek.

Jim Ledbetter, a member and past president of the Tennessee Valley Canoe Club, said the creek, especially the part near the battlefield, was "a real jewel." Paddling the whole route took him two days, he said.

"It's a beautiful part of the creek," Mr. Ledbetter said.

There are a few logjams that might need to be partially cleared, he said, but the route is almost all flat water.

"It's very doable for anybody with any skill level," he said.

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