We attended the grand opening of the new section of the Middle Fork Greenway trail this past week and were excited to see such a large turnout. There have been many people involved in this project that have committed countless hours, resources, and energy into this additional section. The trail is a joint venture between the Blue Ridge Conservancy, High Country Pathways, and a task force of dedicated individuals. This subsection is one more link in completing a trail system that stretches from Blowing Rock to Boone, and ultimately Todd. There are still hurdles the group is facing for this to become a reality (gaining easements and fundraising) but the hope is that the large turnout is an indication of the growing community support.
In the last couple of years, it seems that there has been a noticeable development in the “branding” of the High Country. While we’ve always been recognized as a mountain resort destination, it is evident that more and more people are moving to and/or visiting the area to take advantage of our many outdoor recreation opportunities. While it is deffinatley not new “news” that the High Country is home to incredible cycling, climbing, hiking, skiing, kayaking, and mountain biking, it does seem that our community leaders, business owners, and citizens are becoming increasingly aware of the untapped potential of these activities. I’ve always enjoyed the lure of my kids growing up in a simple mountain community, but I get even more excited about them growing up in an active mountain community where we all share in a work hard-play hard lifestyle. Groups like those involved in the Middle Fork Greenway are essential to bridging the gap between public and private efforts to further develop our recreation infrastructure. As more is done in the future, we should all be encouraged to get outside and PLAY!
High Country Pathways: High Country Pathways mission is to create a network of trail and paddle access points along the headwaters of the New River in North Carolina’s High Country. Its primary current initiative is the Middle Fork Greenway connecting Boone and Blowing Rock.
Blue Ridge Conservancy: Blue Ridge Conservancy’s mission is to permanently protect land and water resources with agricultural, ecological, cultural, recreational, and scenic value in northwest North Carolina. BRC has protected close to 18,000 acres in Watauga, Ashe, Alleghany, Wilkes, Avery, Mitchell and Yancey counties.