NFsNC Non-Motorized Trails Strategy

Partners involved in the Trail Strategy effort gathered on Feb. 14, 2013, to learn more about the draft Trail Strategy report and its findings. Erik Crews, a coordinator of the Trail Strategy project, talks with partners during the Feb. 14, 2013 public meeting concerning trails on the Pisgah National Forest. Nantahala Ranger District Meeting Nantahala Ranger District Meeting Pisgah Ranger District Meeting Pisgah Ranger District Meeting Pisgah Ranger District Meeting




Read the Trail Strategy Report for the Nantahala and Pisgah Forest

Read the news release.

In 2011 and 2012, trail enthusiasts and others with knowledge of non-motorized trails in North Carolina were involved in providing input on the US Forest Service trail planning process.

This effort, referred to as the NC Non-motorized Trails Strategy, gave partners the opportunity to identify sustainable trail systems in the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests.

A wide variety of collaborators were involved in this transparent and inclusive process.

During work sessions held near the national forests in 2012, collaborators:

  • Shared the types of trail experiences that are enjoyable to them.
  • Identified a larger landscape and recreation context into which existing trails fit on national forest and non-forest lands.
  • Identified how quality trail recreation will be sustainably and collaboratively managed.

The results were recommendations for sustainable, quality trail systems that:

  • Offered a variety of high quality experiences for a variety of users.
  • Were ecologically sustainable to reduce or avoid impacts to other resources.
  • Provided improved networks of trails and trail complexes, including loops and connectors, to meet user interests.
  • Informed the US Forest Service management process.
  • Increased volunteer support in the management and sustainability of forest trail systems.

Final Trail Strategy Meeting Scheduled for Nantahala - Pisgah National Forests

The U.S. Forest Service National Forests in North Carolina announced the dates and locations of the last two meetings held as part of the Non-motorized Trail Strategy initiative for the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests.

The meetings were held at the following days and locations:

  • Pisgah National Forest, Feb. 14, 6:00-8:00 p.m., UNCA Sherrill Center, Mountain View Conference Room, Asheville, NC
  • Nantahala National Forest, Feb. 19, 6:00-8:00 p.m., First Presbyterian Church, Tartan Hall, 26 Church Street, Franklin, NC

The National Forests in North Carolina began "Trail Strategy" collaborative meetings in early 2012 with the objective of identifying needs for a sustainable trail system on the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests. The collaborative process continued into the summer of 2012 with a series of district-level, working meetings with key collaborators representing a broad range of trail user groups.

Analysis of Trail Strategy collaborator comments and trail condition data resumed December 2012. The Forest Service compiled the information into a Trail Strategy document, which will guide future trail management projects and inform the Nantahala-Pisgah National Forest Management Plan revision process. Agency employees presented key elements of the draft Trail Strategy document during the two meetings. 

Working Meetings Were Completed

An introductory workshop was offered in five locations across the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests in January, 2012. Nearly 270 participants attended, representing over 70 organizations. Through an “all-lands” approach, participants identified opportunities to link lands and communities with national forest lands. They also defined a quality trail experience for a variety of trail users and offered input on sustainable management of trails.

District-specific meetings took place on each of the six districts in April and May 2012. These meetings identified key collaborators and defined trail complexes in detail. During these meetings collaborators also had the chance to discuss and document individual trail needs, and propose solutions to the problems they are experiencing while in the forest.

Non-Motorized Trails Strategy Diagram