Mortimer Trails Project Update: June 2021

Jun 10, 2021 | News

Big things are happening in the Grandfather District of Pisgah National Forest! The dirt is really flying around, and we want to provide some updates on the Mortimer Trails Project.


The Alliance has been advocating for trails in Pisgah since our inception, and the Mortimer Trails Project has become a key piece in our work in the forest. The plans in this project are to provide better functioning trails, with a strong focus on environmental sustainability and user needs. The chapter has been leveraging resources to make all of this happen, through Forest Service collaboration, grants, and partnerships with other organizations. Some of these partners include: Boone Area Cyclists, Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail, Tanawha Adventures, Trout Unlimited, A Clean Wilson Creek, and Wild South.

Strong Partnerships Leading to a Revitalized Yancey Ridge

With the approval of the Mortimer Trails project last fall, dirt has been moving on one of the classic trails in the Grandfather District of Pisgah National Forest, Yancey Ridge. On May 26, the USFS provided a news release that highlights partnerships on Yancey Ridge and other adjacent trails. Upper Yancey is now completely finished, as well as over 3 miles of maintenance on “Long Yancey” (including three small relocations). The 1.3 mile new exit is currently under construction and the target date for completion is in July. This trail has been attracting riders since the early days of mountain biking, and we are really excited about how it is looking. Please see the photo gallery of Yancey images to see for yourself.

Estes Mill

The May 26 release also discussed Estes Mill trail, a non-system trail that is being added as an official trail through this project. As noted in the info from the Grandfather District, heavy equipment is being used to pull remnant culverts and restore the streams. It will be a mess for a while. Please avoid the area completely through the end of June. Restoration work will be followed by trail work that will narrows the corridor and bring this trail back as an impressive one.

Schoolhouse Ridge

Everyone wants this done. So do we! The relocation of the final mile of Schoolhouse has gone to bid for construction and this will be completed in early 2022.

Marks Mountain

A 2022 RTP grant was secured to go toward this NEW TRAIL. Expected completion in late 2022 – early 2023. More to come as this exciting project comes to life, there will be lots of opportunity for volunteer work, you’ll have a chance to leave a legacy of stoke in Pisgah.

Jackson Knob, High Knob, and Wilson Ridge

We are working with the Grandfather District on several different ways to get these projects funded. These are key trails to the project and we believe there will be work planned in the near future. Some funding from the Great American Outdoors Act will help us get some of it done.


With this project in motion, many of the targets for maintenance have already been implemented on other trails, including heavy renovations to over 6 miles of trails. A timeline has been created to see how the plans have come together over the last several years. Also, if you want to listen to more news about the project, find episode #126 of the Pisgah Podcast where you get them or have a listen at the button below while you are browsing our website! Thank you for all of the support for this project. Let us know if you have any questions about this or want to get involved in any other way.

Project Maps 
Wilson Creek Trail Development Timeline
Yancey Ridge Photo Gallery
Riding in the Grandfather District
Additional Mortimer Trails Project Info
Santa Cruz PayDirt Grant Release

Other News

NC NICA Athletes Giving Back to Trails in ‘24

NC NICA Athletes Giving Back to Trails in ‘24

Have you heard? NC NICA athletes from the North Carolina Interscholastic Cycling League (NCICL) have big goals of giving back to local trails this year, aiming to complete over 3,000 hours of volunteer work this season. Currently they are over halfway there! Last...

Alliance Chosen as Two for the Trails Grant Recipient

Alliance Chosen as Two for the Trails Grant Recipient

We’re proud to announce we’ve been chosen as a recipient of Athletic Brewing Company's Two for the Trails grant program! Athletic Brewing Company’s love for the great outdoors is why they created their Two For the Trails program, where they donate up to $2 million...