Glen Alpine Park

A community park has been on Glen Alpine’s wish list for a long time. Burke River Trail Association Executive Director Beth Heile shared with Glen Alpine Town Aldermen that thanks to a directed state grant from Rep Blackwell, the park is one step closer to becoming a reality.

Glen Alpine Community Park and Trailhead Rendering by Equinox Environmental

The desire for a downtown park was uncovered back in 2020 when Rep Blackwell and Heile were visiting each local government in Burke County to discuss trails running through their downtown areas for economic development opportunities.

Sky View of Parcel, Walk to River through Downtown and being on the Railroad

The project will require the vote of the council to accept the money for a park, apply for grants to match the funds, and to use the 1.3 acre parcel the town owns for the park. Contact council members to show your support for the park.

The new gathering space will spur downtown revitalization with an event lawn for festivals (and allow current town events to expand), a picnic shelter, and restrooms. Another plus of the location is being on the Railroad. With efforts in place to bring passenger rail service back, the park could serve as a whistle stop.

In 2021, Friends of Fonta Flora State Trail received a grant to study the trail route around Glen Alpine. As part of that feasibility study, Equinox Environmental created a trailhead park rendering for the 1.3 acre property the town owns at 401 Bridge Street. The plan shows

  • Playground
  • Picnic Shelter
  • Event Lawn
  • Restrooms
  • 6 parking spots

Though the entire Fonta Flora State Trail route in the area has not been determined, it will follow Linville Street bringing activity to downtown Glen Alpine. In addition, the Burke River Trail will start at this trailhead and move to Morganton.

Heile shared the park rendering with the aldermen and said there was a chance to double the $125,000 directed grant by applying for a NC Parks and Recreation Trust Fund Grant. This state competitive grant program matches local government park projects dollar for dollar. She will be helping the town get started on the grant process. The exact amenities will be determined by total funding.

Since the Burke River Trail will connect Glen Alpine to Morganton, the Burke River Trail Association will help with the trailhead park and that trail section. Heile told meeting attendees, that the first trail focus could be from downtown to Watermill Access for a one mile section that Glen Alpine residents and businesses could enjoy – along Watermill Glen Alpine Rd. The route would provide an out and back 2 mile path for health (physical, mental and social), transportation (homes to town, from town to the water) and economic development opportunities in downtown.

View of Park Parcel from Bridge St

Heile said, “The park is an exciting opportunity to add a community gathering place to downtown. The space will allow Glen Alpine to expand their existing events and parades. But, more importantly, the park will be one more attraction to entice new businesses to come to Linville Street.”

Glen Alpine Alderman Meeting – February 5, 2024