Archived Outdoors

New trail unveiled in Graham County

A trio of recently completed trail projects in the Nantahala National Forest in Graham County offers people of all ages new opportunities for hiking, biking and horseback riding. 

Enhancements to an 8.5-mile former U.S. Forest Service road allow access for mountain bikers and horseback riders on the Santeetlah Lake Trail. The project was completed through a partnership with Graham County Travel and Tourism Authority. 

Support from the Graham Revitalization Economic Action Team and the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation also allowed installation of two new Kids in Parks TRACK Trails. 

  • The 0.7-mile Massey Branch Fitness Trail offers a short uphill warmup through rhododendron thickets, where users can sample various fitness stations working out various muscle groups. A workout within the forest, the trail allows people to put their athletic skills to the test while surrounded by nature. 

  • The 0.25-mile out-and-back CCC Camp Trail honors the Civilian Conservation Corps, which employed young men during the Great Depression. It includes a walk out to an observation camp that overlooks their historic camp, with interpretive signs along the way. 

To fund its part of the project, GREAT received a grant from Duke Energy with additional support from Graham County Travel and Tourism and Western North Carolina Community Foundation. Partners of Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock Wilderness, Inc. also contributed hours of in-kind labor assistance.

More information about recreational opportunities is available at fs.usda.gov/goto/cheoah.

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