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New trail coming to Old Fort

The U.S. Forest Service wants public input on a proposal to build 42 miles of new trails near Old Fort in McDowell County. 

The Old Fort Trails project is a community-driven endeavor focused on connectivity, accessibility and sustainability. The Grandfather District of the Pisgah National Forest is partnering with the G5 Trail Collective, a local nonprofit supporting backcountry trails, and People on the Move for Old Fort, a Black-led community collaborative. Partners have raised more than $150,000 so far in support of the effort, and volunteers from the trail running, biking and equestrian communities have dedicated thousands of hours to trail maintenance around Old Fort. 

The new trails would aim to improve community connectivity, reduce barriers to access and support environmental and social sustainability. Two new trailhead parking areas would support them, with about 1 mile of trail relocations proposed to increase maintainability of the existing trail system. 

Submit comments online at www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=59242. To learn more, attend one of two Zoom meetings offered 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 3, and noon Friday, March 5. Meeting ID and passcode are 840 1920 9035 and 313843 for March 3 and 851 2562 5866 and 497185 for March 5. 

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