Finding the route for a public trail takes a lot of planning and input. From where beautiful sections are located to where there are willing landowners. To find that perfect path, 7 public input meetings were held from February to April in Glen Alpine, Drexel, Rutherford College, Connelly Springs, Rhodhiss, Long View, Hildebran. A big thanks goes to each of the municipalities for organizing the meeting space and publicizing the events. Average attendance was 20 people.
How does public trail end up on a private landowner’s property?
Through a trail easement agreement that is recorded with the property deed.
The following information will help a landowner know a little more about the process and help with deciding to allow trail on their land.
What are you asking from landowners?
We are asking landowners to work with us to connect existing sections of trail. We are happy to work with you to find a route through your property that is suitable to you. We are willing to acquire the trail through acquisition of narrow portions of the property for the trail or through right-of-way easements. We can discuss the benefits of each of these options in detail with you. The choice is yours – allowing trail will not be forced.
A frequent question when discussing trails along individual homeowners’ properties is about crime on trails. Studies show that is not a problem.
- Self-Policing – Trails & Greenways attract local residents who use the facility frequently and randomly
- Decrease Crime – Studies show less crime on trails than in the communities as a whole.
- Litter and Lack of Leash – Most common problems with public trails are litter, unauthorized motorized vehicles & unleashed pets.
While the Valdese Greenway is the first 2 miles of Burke River Trail on the ground, Wildcat Way is the first section build specifically to extend and to be a part of the Burke River Trail.
First the school board had to agree. Talks about this went back to June 2020, when the foundation of trail was laid during talks with Town of Valdese, BCPS (facilities, school board and administration) and a property developer.
Talks were a little more formalized in January 2022 with the new BCPS Superintendent Mike Swan and Commissioner Scott Mulwee. At this meeting, the discussion was held about the April 4, Beth presented at the BoE work session. Later came for a vote.
Outdoor Classroom?? Wetlands Study?? Getting there…
In April 2022, we had a meeting with BCPS Board of Education Chair Wendi Craven, DHS Principal Jeanene Fletcher Burris, Director of Auxiliary Services Dr Bob Acord and BC Soil and Water. With plans in the works for a natural surface trail on the BCPS property, Ms. Craven wanted to look into the possibility of educational opportunities along the trail. The trail – Wildcat Way – will be open to the public in late Spring – and then we will start looking at those educational features!!
From October, 2022 to February, 2023, volunteers worked to build the 4 foot wide natural surface trail. Zakk Heile and Tim Johnson flagged the trail route. Since Town of Valdese will be holding the trail easement and the trail will be in Valdese, Friends of the Valdese Rec paid for the excavator rental to cut in the trail. FVR and community volunteers did the finishing work.
At this time 4 Corners Land Surveying is doing a formal survey of the trail for the easement agreement. The survey will show the exact path of the trail with 12.5 feet on each side. Once completed this survey will be filed with the trail easement agreement as part of the deed and the trail will be open for public use.