Wilson Creek Area Trail Improvement Timeline

Highlights of our work in Wilson Creek and the Grandfather District of Pisgah National Forest

The Alliance has been advocating for trails in Pisgah since our inception, and starting in 2020, the Mortimer Trails Project has become a key piece in our work in the forest.

The plans all of these projects 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.

Listed below are just some of the many highlights of our 8 years of work in Pisgah National Forest.

Date
Trail Segment or Event

Work Completed / In Progress / Planned

July 17, 2014
Meeting with USFS in Nebo
Planning and Adoption of Trails
January 2015
Alliance signed volunteer agreement with Grandfather District
Executed Volunteer Service Agreement (VSA) and supporting documents
February 7, 2015
Crew-leader training day
USFS-led training on Lower Wilson Ridge Trail
July 2, 2015
IMBA/Clif Bar Grant awarded
Grant is applied to trails in Wilson Creek
December 5, 2015
Greentown TR 268 – US 181 to Upper Creek – US 181 to Upper Creek, 1.2 mi.
Mechanized maintenance and hand maintenance with volunteer hand-finishing
March 2016
Schoolhouse Ridge TR 279 (aka Schoolhouse Connector) – Wilson Ridge to FSR 4068, .4 mi.
Mech. maintenance with volunteer corridor clearing
March 2016
Wilson Ridge TR 269 – Schoolhouse Connector to FSR 4068 (Schoolhouse Rd.) near gate on SR 90, 1 mi.
Mech. maintenance (contracted turnkey)
November 16, 2016
Alliance annual meeting at Howard Brewing in Lenoir
Grandfather District Ranger Nicholas Larson speaks about plans for the future
December 28, 2016
Greentown TR 268 – Upper Creek to FSR 198 (Chestnut Mtn. Rd.), 2.5 mi.
Mech. maintenance with volunteer hand-finishing
September 2017
2018 RTP Grant awarded for Mortimer Trails Project
Grant funds will be distributed to several trails in the Mortimer Trails Project
September 30, 2017
Challenge Cost-Share Agreement signed for Upper Schoolhouse
Executed CCS and supporting documents
November 30, 2018
Alliance annual meeting at Lightning Cycles in Hickory
Update and public input on trail projects, including Mortimer and Wilson Creek
January 11, 2018
Mortimer Trails Project public meeting in Banner Elk, NC
USFS presented news about the grant as well as get public input on priorities
February 2018
Schoolhouse Ridge TR 279 – FSR 4068 (Schoolhouse Rd.) to relo segment, 1.7 mi.
Mech. maintenance with volunteer corridor clearing
November 2019
Wilson Ridge TR 269 (aka 21 Jumps) – Edgemont Rd Schoolhouse Connector 1.7 mi.
Mech. maintenance (contracted turnkey)
April 2019
Challenge Cost-Share Agreement for Upper Schoolhouse modified to include work on Lower Woodruff
Executed CCS and supporting documents
May 13, 2019
Grandfather District Releases Scoping Documents for Mortimer Trails Project
As required by NEPA, this guides the planning for the project and public input.
December 2019
2020 RTP Grant awarded to Trout Unlimited for FSR 192 and Upper Yancey. Alliance is primary partner.
Grant secured by TU is applied to FSR 192 (MST) and FSR 4062 (Upper Yancey)
December 13, 2019
Alliance annual meeting at Bald Guy Brew in Boone, NC
Mortimer Trails Plan highlighted and presented to public
January 2020
Woodruff Ridge TR 256 – Anthony’s Creek Road (uphill) to first stream crossing, .6 mi.
Mech. maintenance and hand maintenance completed
June 24, 2020
Challenge Cost-Share Agreement signed for Yancey Ridge
Executed CCS and supporting documents
August 17, 2020
Santa Cruz Paydirt Grant awarded
Grant is applied to Yancey Ridge Trail
November 23, 2020
Decision Memo signed by Grandfather District Ranger for Mortimer Trails Project
NEPA planning milestones completed. Construction out of corridor can move forward.
December 18, 2020
2021 RTP Grant awarded for Marks Mountain Trail
Grant is applied to Marks Mountain Trail
March 2021
Yancey Ridge TR 259 (aka Upper Yancey) – FSR 4062 (OHG Orchard Rd.) to FSR 451 (Marks Mtn. Rd.), .8 mi.
Mech. maintenance with volunteer corridor clearing
May 2021
Yancey Ridge TR 259 (aka Long Yancey) – FSR 451 (Marks Mtn. Rd.) to relocate segment, 4 mi.
Mech. maintenance with volunteer corridor work. Includes two relocations and one reclaim
June 2021
Yancey Ridge TR 259 – Yancey Ridge new exit from top of Yancey near viewpoint to Roseboro Rd., 1.3 mi.
New trail construction of new exit IN PROGRESS. Volunteer corridor work complete.
May 15, 2021
First Annual Mortimer Trail Weekend held at Mortimer Campground
Social weekend, but included prevantative work and assesment on Jackson Knob Trail

What to expect

The future is strong for our relationship with USFS and Wilson Creek will continue to get the love it deserves for years to come.

These projected dates are likely to change, and this page will continue to be updated.

projected July 2022
Estes Mill Trail (aka Yellow Mailbox, new trail) – SR 90 to Jackson Knob Trail, 2.4 mi.
Stream restoration IN PROGRESS. Road to trail conversion will follow restoration work.
projected August 2022
MST/Old House Gap Rd. FSR 982 – Roseboro Rd. to Old House Gap, 3.08 mi.
Road improvements and stream restoration along Gragg Prong
projected January 2022
Schoolhouse Ridge TR 279 – Top of ridge 1.7 mi from FSR 4068 to Mortimer Campground, 1.5 mi.
New Trail Construction. Will follow historic alignment in several places
projected end of 2022
Jackson Knob (new trail) – Brown Mountain Beach Rd. uphill to Wilson Ridge Trail, 1.8 mi.
Road to Trail Conversion and relocations in three segments
projected end of 2022
Wilson Ridge TR 269 – Top of Jackson Knob Trail South to FSR 4097 (Loose Mtn Rd.), 2.3 mi.
Mechanized Maintenance and three major trail relocations
projected end of 2022
Woodruff Ridge TR 256 – Upper Woodruff from Edgemont Rd. across FSR 4081 and downhill to 2020 work, 2 mi.
Mech. maintenance and hand maintenance contracted work
projected early 2023
Marks Mountain (new trail) – From Marks Mtn. Gate on Roseboro Rd. to FSR 4062 near Old House Gap, 3.15 mi.
New Trail Construction. Will provide an option with FSR 982 and Yancey Ridge.
projected end of 2023
High Knob (new trail) – From FSR 4068 at Wilson Ridge Trail to Mortimer Campground, 3.65 mi.
New Trail Construction. Will provide an option with Wilson Ridge and Schoolhouse