December Middle Fork Greenway e-News: thank you for your incredible support in 2016!  Cheers to a 2017 full of Middle Fork Greenway progress! 

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From Blowing Rock to Boone, the Middle Fork Greenway is becoming a reality and we need your support to help leverage federal and state grants!  Read below on how you can help or visit our website 

Appalachian Regional Healthcare System and Watauga County Partner to Provide a Critical Link for the Middle Fork Greenway

The Middle Fork Greenway is a step closer to becoming a reality!  Appalachian Regional Healthcare System (ARHS) granted an easement for the greenway through their property at Chestnut Ridge. Watauga County Commissioners have unanimously approved to accept the almost 2,000 linear foot tract as part of the future Middle Fork Greenway trail. 

This section is a critical link for the trail system that will one day connect Blowing Rock to Boone.  The ARHS segment is part of Phase Two of the Middle Fork Greenway, which runs from the ARHS property, through National Park Service property, then connects to the entrance of the Town of Blowing Rock.  The National Park Service property will provide a connection to the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Mountains-to-Sea Trail, North Carolina’s premier 1,150 mile hiking trail.

Check out all the space for the Middle Fork Greenway under the Reba and Grady Mortez Bridge at Chestnut Ridge


The NC DOT has provided space for the Middle Fork Greenway at the Foley Center at Chestnut Ridge under the newly constructed Reba and Grady Moretz Bridge.   Routing the trail under the bridge provides  a vehicle-free recreation space through this section at Chestnut Ridge.    Clients of the rehabilitation center will be able to access the Middle Fork New River, as well as get to the town of Blowing Rock by foot, bicycle, and even wheelchair. 

The MFG will be a resource available to all residents of the High Country and all visitors to the region.  The health benefits are clear and have been tangibly recognized through the easement being granted by ARHS and by the several planning grants that have been received through the Appalachian Health Department.   According to the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, walking trails are beneficial for promoting physical activity, which lowers stress and improves emotional health.  While the High Country features various types of outdoor recreation, safe pedestrian and cycling infrastructure is limited in between our largest population centers, Blowing Rock and Boone. 

The MFG project is a collaboration between Blue Ridge Conservancy and High Country Pathways, as well as partnerships with local governments (Blowing Rock, Boone and Watauga County), landowners, public grant programs and private funders.   There are constant fundraising efforts being made for the Middle Fork Greenway.  Blue Ridge Conservancy has a single donor paying all administrative expenses, so every  dollar raised  goes directly to the building the greenway.   If you are interested in donating to the greenway project, please visit our website and click on the donate button!

A Donation to the Middle Fork Greenway is the GIFT that will Keep on GIVING

Fall 2016 has been an exceptional time for Middle Fork Greenway support!   Every dollar raised goes directly to the Middle Fork Greenway project.  Zap Fitness has provided financial support for all administrative costs of the greenway, therefore every single dollar contributed goes to the trail AND can be leveraged to receive state and federal grants.

The Middle Fork Greenway team would like to thank all of our fall supporters – these include in-kind donated goods and financial contributions!

Grace Scantlin**

Pete and Zika Rea

Paul and Lois Carter

Charme Davidson

Ann Pipes

Tim & Carolyn Hilton

Curtis Andrews

Pfizer Foundation

Pamela Hoffman

Appalachian Regional Healthcare System

Blowing Rock Fire Department

Appalachian Mountain Brewery

Wahoo’s Adventures

High Gravity Adventures

Highland Landscape Supplies

Appalachia Cookie Company

Blowing Rock Ale House

Watauga River Partners

Harris Teeter

Food Lion

Always a big THANKS to the Towns of Boone and Blowing Rock and Watauga County for continued support!

** Grace Scantlin is a local six year old who gave 20 weeks of her allowance to the Middle Fork Greenway!  We are all very impressed with her giving.

If you would like to provide a financial contribution to the Middle Fork Greenway, you can do so by visiting our website at or call Wendy Patoprsty at (828) 264-2511 for more information or questions.
Next Section of Middle Fork Greenway
getting "Shovel Ready"

Box culverts under Hwy 321 - future Middle Fork Greenway path

Blue Ridge Conservancy recently purchased a 12-acre linear tract of land providing the link for the next mile of Middle Fork Greenway’s development.  This riverfront property is just north of Tweetsie Railroad and was purchased with funding from NC Clean Water Management Trust Fund (CWMTF) and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina.  This 200-foot wide tract of land will connect the existing Middle Fork Greenway at Tweetsie Railroad all the way to Goldmine Branch Park on Niley Cook Road. 

Watauga County Tourism Development Authority (TDA) is funding the comprehensive planning for this section with a team of High Country partners with expertise in bridges, trails, engineering, surveys and design to get this section “shovel ready”.  The greenway will cross over the Middle Fork New River with a bridge at Tweetsie and under Hwy 321 through one of the existing box culverts.   The greenway path will continue through a rhododendron and hardwood forest as it follows the Middle Fork New River.. 

This section will connect Tweetsie Railroad to Goldmine Branch Park on Niley Cook Road.   Goldmine Branch Park is just over an acre of undeveloped floodplain property owned by the county.  It was purchased by the Middle Fork Greenway Association (MFGA) in 2005 with NC CWMTF money to be used for the greenway development.   Goldmine Branch Park will be designed to provide parking for access to the greenway and the Middle Fork New River.  The MFGA has also worked with private landowners to acquire easements through private property to link the trail in this section.  

The next big step is to raise the funds needed to construct this mile-long section.  The Middle Fork Greenway team can leverage every private dollar donated to receive state and federal funding.  Most grant programs require a financial match of 20-50%, meaning for every private dollar raised, we can double it through grant programs.  The Middle Fork Greenway team will be partnering with Watauga County to raise grant funds and we need private dollars to match.   If you’d like to help support the Middle Fork Greenway, please go to our website and click on the donate button, or call Wendy Patoprsty at (828) 264-2511 for more information. 

A very BIG thank you to Appalachian Mountain Brewery and High Gravity Adventures for organizing the first Zombie Run in the High Country with all proceeds benefiting the Middle Fork Greenway!  A HUGE thank you to Crystal Smith for your vision and energy toward this super fun event!  We hope to see all of you out there again next year!  Click here to see more photos of this event and others.
Thank you to all the  community volunteers who represented the Middle Fork Greenway at the Blowing Rock Christmas Parade and the Boone Christmas Parade this year!  It was fantastic to see all the kids on bikes, scooters and foot celebrating the Middle Fork Greenway!!!
Would you like to learn more about Blue Ridge Conservancy and follow the work being done to protect our mountain land? 
If so, click here to view 
Blue Ridge Conservancy's December newsletter, or go to
Middle Fork Greenway is a collaborative project of
Blue Ridge Conservancy and High Country Pathways

Our mailing address is:
PO Box 568
Boone, NC 28607

Our Physical Address is:
166 Furman Rd.
Boone, NC 28607
Phone: 828-264-2511

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Middle Fork Greenway · 166 Furman Rd · Boone, Nc 28607 · USA

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