We’ve got some good news for you. The Pisgah National Forest Grandfather Ranger District has approved the Mortimer Trails Project. This means that planned relocations of existing trails and construction of new trails are officially authorized to proceed, which will eventually bring over 10 miles of new trails to the system! We are very proud of our continued partnership with the Grandfather District and looking forward to working together in the years to come.

MORE ABOUT THE MORTIMER TRAILS PROJECT

About a year ago, we released some updates and finer details of the plan for Mortimer, including some background on the history of the project. Despite many challenges during 2020, the project is now entering an exciting phase. Please take a look at the USFS news release from the Grandfather District to learn more about the “decision memo” that was signed earlier this week, along with more details on the project.

WHAT IS GOING ON NOW

Volunteers have been busy doing corridor work on Yancey Ridge Trail (TR 259) for several weeks and this will be continuing into December. This work is to get ready for contracted work that will include mechanized maintenance on many segments as well as a total reroute of the exit.

Yancey was moved up in the plans with the award of the Santa Cruz PayDirt Grant. The Alliance is also part of a multi-partner effort that will improve other segments of the 13-mile “Long Yancey Loop.” Corridor work on Old House Gap Orchard Rd. (FSR 4062…aka Upper Yancey) from Old House Gap to the start of Long Yancey is complete. Trail work for that segment is under contract and will begin soon. Organizations involved in the work on adjacent forest roads include Trout Unlimited, Friends of the Mountains to Sea Trail, and the NC Wildlife Resources Commission.

As for other trails, The Alliance is currently working with the Grandfather District to collaborate on trail design and contracting specs. for Lower Schoolhouse and Jackson Knob trails. We are expecting a Spring buildout on these trails. For other trails not mentioned we are still working on getting them funded through a variety of funding mechanisms, including the Great American Outdoors Act, which you can help with! See below for more on that.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

If you’d like to get involved with the trails in this project, please email us at info@ridenwnctrails.com. We can answer your questions and help you connect to some of the work that needs to be done to complete the project. Additionally, you can use the following form to either join our volunteer list, or update your information: Build With Us.

Another way to help is by participating in the public process whenever you can. Currently the USFS Region 8 has two trails in the project being considered for Great American Outdoors Act funding (Upper Woodruff and Middle Wilson). The FS requests feedback on the projects by Nov. 30, 2020. Please search for the project numbers at the link above and comment on them by the deadline.

Thanks for the support!