Old Fort Trails Project Groundbreaking Ceremony Scheduled for January 15

OLD FORT, NC (January 5, 2022) — The U.S. Forest Service, the G5 Trail Collective, and members of the Old Fort, North Carolina community are pleased to announce that the groundbreaking for the Old Fort Trails Project will take place Saturday, January 15, 2022 from 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. in the new parking area at the intersection of Curtis Creek and Jarrett Creek Roads (1450 Curtis Creek Road, Old Fort, N.C. 28762). The community is invited to join local, regional, and state officials and celebrate the groundbreaking of the new 42-mile trail project.

The groundbreaking event marks the beginning of construction for the first phase of the Old Fort Trails Project, which was announced during a press conference in November 2021. Included in this initial phase are four miles of easy trails forming loops for hiking and mountain biking, as well as two miles of intermediate connector trails for hike, bike, and equestrian users. These community-oriented trails will provide much needed beginner experiences in the Pisgah National Forest. The first six miles of trail and new parking area are slated to open in summer 2022, supported by funding from the Dogwood Health Trust. The entire project will be implemented over five to 10 years. 

“We invite you to participate in this historic event as we officially begin construction and launch this community-driven project,” said Lisa Jennings of the U.S. Forest Service. “This groundbreaking represents a watershed moment for Old Fort after three years of planning, collaboration, and community building around trails. Join us and dig a shovel full of dirt to participate in history in the making.”

Photo by Hansi Johnson, courtesy of Outdoors for All Old Fort.

Stephanie Swepson Twitty, CEO of Eagle Market Streets Development Corporation, added, “The Old Fort Trail Project represents a tidal shift in what is possible on our public lands, and shows what happens when a community of people from diverse backgrounds come together to dream big about their future. We are excited to share the groundbreaking with the community this Martin Luther King weekend.”

The groundbreaking event will include a community-led ceremony where everyone can participate in digging the first shovels of dirt for the project, followed by a short walk to the trailhead and discussion about the first phase of trails. An outdoor reception at Kitsbow’s Old Fort Ride House will follow the groundbreaking event from 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. For additional information and details on the event, please visit: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/old-fort-trails-project-groundbreaking-ceremony-tickets-227316990237.

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