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Historic Highlands-area trail gets a half-million dollar facelift

Dry Fall Trails in Macon County will see a $446,000 restoration project to stabilize the historic trail and reconstruct the entire walking path to its base — all while preserving the historic integrity of the trail, built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the first half of the 20th Century.

Construction starts in April and is scheduled to finish in September. Dry Falls is located north of Highlands along N.C. 28.

“Parts of the trail degraded over the years, making it unsafe for the hundreds of visitors who enjoy the site daily during peak season,” said Mike Wilkins, Nantahala District ranger. “Restoration of the trail will promote public safety.”  

The work is intended to enhance the visual appeal of the trail and make it easier to maintain. Working with a Forest Service archeologist, engineers designed the reconstruction to preserve the current look and historic feel of the site, Wilkins said.

The parking lot and Dry Falls Trail will be closed for the duration of the project. Funding for the project comes from a $208,000 Federal Highways and $258,000 in matching agency funds.