A case for trail development in Uwharrie National ForestPresented by:Uwharrie Trails and Conservancy and the Land Trust forCentral North Carolina Uwharrie Trails and Conservancy
The Take Away1. Uwharrie is Central North Carolina’s potential prime recreation area for: Hiking, Biking, Equestrian, Boating, Fishing, Hunting and ORV.2. Currently a large demand exists for new trails to serve the 6 million residents in the regional area.3. The Uwharrie Mountains have a wide variety of natural features, floral and fauna, and history that should be preserved.4. New trails allow users to explore more of this area, which in turn should foster a greater interest in wise use of this resource.5. Construction of state-of-art trails, should draw many recreational tourists, promote local economic development, and give the local community a great asset.
The Mission• Combine Trails and Conservation in Uwharrie to lift up local communities.• To promote Uwharrie natural assets as a priceless public resource. The Vision• To further the vision of others that have pioneered the acquisition and protection of Uwharrie lands.• Combine them with recreational trail use and conservation for the greater good! Our Goal• Create a world class multi-user trail system that will compliment and enhance the local communities.
• Trails connect people to the natural environment: Trails place to place, person to person, and neighbor to neighbor.• Trails connect us to scenic landscapes, natural wonders, and cultural resources.• They make our communities more livable: improving the economy through tourism and civic improvement, and building support for land protection and stewardship.• Trails provide opportunities for multiple-use recreation: promoting physical activity to improve fitness and mental health.• They provide access for other recreational opportunities such as hunting or rock-climbing.• They enhance educational opportunities: providing opportunities to improve and test skills, to be challenged, or to learn about our natural or cultural environment.• Trails present opportunities for observation, enjoyment, and exploration.• Trails strengthen each of us: offering opportunities for solitude, contemplation, and inspiration. To some, trails provide a sense of freedom, personal accomplishment, self-reliance, and self-discovery.
Trails help protect rare habitats and sensitive resources,by concentrating use Conservation on designated, sustainable pathways.• Trails offering a rich and enjoyable experience don’t just happen. Creating a sense of place and a sequence of events that add interest and offer challenge are essential to good trail design.• Moreover, the placement of any trail on the landscape has an ecological impact. The challenge is to keep impacts to a minimum while providing the desired experience.• To be sustainable, a trail must serve the needs of users for generations to come, while preserving the sense of place and protecting the quality of the surrounding environment.• Sustainable trails begin with thoughtful planning, good design, and meticulous layout.• Many of our trails suffer from lack of planning and poor design. Many are user created pathways, or leftover routes from historic farm roads and logging activities that are not appropriate forlong-term recreational use.• Improperly planned and constructed trails need frequent maintenance, can require significant investment in time and money, and still may not meet the needs of the user or protect the surrounding natural resources.• A sustainable trail will require little rerouting and minimal maintenance over extended periods of time.• A successfully designed trail will entice visitors back time and again.
History of Project1998 – UMBA and Don Childrey• WoodRun Trail System was born2006• Central Park North Carolina established a relationship with IMBA (International Mountain Bike Association)2007• IMBA initiates “Ride Center” initiative and names Uwharrie as 1 of 5 destinations in the nation as a potential model trail system.• Funding for the project commences.2008• Stanly County gets first ever bike park through the Ride Center project.2009• 1.5 miles of new trail completed at Uwharrie.2011• Large RTP grant and local cash match by First Bank of Troy awarded.• First phase of Ride Center project completed by Trail Dynamics.2013• Partnership between LandTrust for Central North Carolina and Uwharrie Trails and Conservancy forms ,to move project forward.
History of Area As Good as Gold!“By the 1830s, gold prospectors and miners had moved into theUwharrie Mountain region, searching the hills and panning thestreams. At least fifteen mines, including the Russell Mine,opened in the Uwharries before the Civil War”.Sources: North Carolina Museum of History (text), EldoradoOutpost (pictures )
Natural History• The Uwharrie National Forest was first purchased by the federal government in 1931 during the Great Depression. The land was known as the Uwharrie Reservation.• In 1961, President John F. Kennedy proclaimed these federal lands in Montgomery, Randolph, and Davidson Counties the Uwharrie National Forest. • It is one of the most recently formed in the National Forest System. • Though small, at only 50,189 acres, the Uwharrie provides a variety of natural resources, including clean rivers and streams, diverse vegetation for scenery, wildlife habitat and wood products. • There is also a wide variety of recreational activities, and the Forest is a natural setting for tourism and economic development.
Archeology• The Uwharries and surrounding areas were favorite stomping grounds of the Native Americans for at least ten thousand years and probably longer.• Their legacy and artifacts to future generations include, but arent limited to: arrow and spearheads, pottery fragments, ancient campsites and fish-traps.• Right below the Uwharrie National Forest is one of the historic Mississippian cultures east coast ceremonial centers called Town Creek Indian Mound.• The archaeology on the mound began in the 1930s and some amazing discoveries have been made there over the years.
USFS 15 Year PlanPeople who work, play, or live in or near the Uwharrie NF were invited to participate in aseries of meetings to learn how the revised plan would be developed.• Many participants expressed appreciation for the sights, sounds, and smells of nature as a refuge from urban life; some are interested primarily in conservation of the native ecosystems while others see the Uwharrie NF as a place to recreate by hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, OHV riding, camping, boating, hunting, fishing, or shooting.• Some look for ways the Forest can provide economic benefits to local communities. All participants expressed value for the Uwharrie NF’s rural setting and its diversity of native plants and animals.Three themes came to dominate the collaborative planning processand most conversations about the Uwharrie NF:1. Restoring the forest to a more natural ecological condition: For example,reducing the amount of loblolly pine plantations in favor of reestablishinglongleaf pine forests or oak-hickory forests.2. Better managing cultural resources: The Uwharrie NF has an abundance ofartifacts and historic and prehistoric sites within its boundaries. These needprotection, but they also provide opportunities for research, teaching, andinterpretation; and3. Providing outstanding and environmentally friendly outdoor recreationopportunities, with excellent trails and facilities: It is a challenge to provide thekind of experience recreationists want while minimizing impacts to other forestresources and other forest users.
The Urban Crecent Downtown Winston-Salem: 1.2 hrs, 60 mi. 2011 population 232,000 Downtown Greensboro 1.1 hrs, 60 mi. 2011 population 273,000 Downtown Raleigh: 1.75 hrs, 95 mi. 2011 metro area pop. 1.79 millionDowntown Charlotte: 1.5 hrs, 60 mi.2012 metro area pop. 1.84 million Downtown Fayetteville: 1.7 hrs, 80 mi. 2011 population 203,000
Health and WellnessTrails for Health and WellnessWith millions of acres of public lands and thousands of miles of rivers,Americans have access to an amazing outdoor “gym” in which they canpursue a variety of activities. Between the National Park Service and theForest Service alone, there are approximately 160,000 miles of trails, 58national parks, and more than 14,000 recreational sites. This doesn’t includethe numerous state and local parks and recreation areas that may be nextdoor to your home, school, or worksite. Contrary to popular belief, beingactive outdoors doesn’t have to mean a long car trip, a lot of gear, or specialskills.Trails: A Scientifically Proven AssetScientific evidence from the Guide to Community Preventive Services showsthat providing access to places for physical activity, such as trails, increasesthe level of physical activity in a community. Trails can provide a widevariety of opportunities for being physically active:Walking, jogging, running, and hikingBicyclingFishingHuntingForestry work
Community Benefits• Because of their linear design, trails act as a meeting place for the community. Trails foster community involvement, and corresponding pride, in addition to providing an opportunity to interact with people of varying backgrounds, and experiences.• Common trail activities such as walking, bicycling, and cross- country skiing are all relatively inexpensive, unorganized activities, providing accessible recreation opportunities.• An important by-product of trails is improved selfimage and social relationships, reduced crime, a livelier community atmosphere and a lifestyle which encourages young people to find their entertainment in healthier and more wholesome ways.• Trails help build partnerships among private companies, landowners neighbouring municipalities, local government, and advocacy groups.• When residents are encouraged to be involved in a community project, like a trail project, they feel more connected to the community.
Economic Development• Over 62.5% of NC’s population is active• They contribute over $19 billion annually• Outdoor Recreation Supports 192,000 jobs across the state• And generates $1.3 billion in local and state taxes
The Vision Case Study• To have a destination quality access park owned and managed by the City of Anniston where the family can play while mom or dad is o the trail.• Mayor Vaughn Stewart wants Anniston to be able to call itself “Bike City, Alabama”The Project:• Coldwater Mountain is a 4000 acre tract of land owned by the State of Alabamas Forever Wild organization and managed by the State Lands Division of the states Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.• It is a program dedicated to preserving Alabamas most beautiful land, while expanding the recreational opportunities available to the public.• The Coldwater tract was purchased by Forever Wild in the late 90s and is presently being developed into a world class destination trail system for mountain bikers, trail runners, and hikers.• Sixty miles of trail have been designed and construction will be performed in phases over a 3 to 5 year period.• To date, it is funded primarily through a Recreational Trails Program (RTP) grant with the help of the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA).• Funding Update: City Council members voted unanimously to fund $450,000 to the project, making 9 miles possible!
Who is involved Brian Don Bristol Childrey Brian and his son Tyler on Supertree Brian Bristol Successor of Don Childrey in Uwharrie mountain bike trail development. Previously worked with NC CentralKeyauwee Trail opening day. The fruit Park organization.of Brian and Don’s vision and effort. Works for ScanOnline in Albemarle.
Ed checking some 2011 Uwharrie work Ed on his machine of choice: Sweco bulldozerEd SuttonOwner: Trail Dynamics LLCPTBA MemberPisgah SORBA/IMBA Ed, with wife Sophia and son Rudy in Uwharries
Cliff hiking to ski Tuckerman Ravine in New Hampshire. Enjoying Alta’s great snow trails in Utah Cliff Neill Land Surveying, Civil Engineering, CAD & GIS Developing Uwharrie trail plan.Trail Dynamics Crew at Woodrun Cliff on new Keyauwee Trail Currently works with Trail Dynamics.
Thank You! Learn More at: www.uwharrietrails.org www.landtrustcnc.orgTo donate to our cause please contact the Land Trust for Central North Carolina at: 704.647.0302 firstname.lastname@example.org