President's Message

Dear MTA Members,

It is going to be an exciting start to the next five years for greenways and trails. The purpose of this briefing sheet is to inform you of some wonderful events that will be taking place in our county.

Phase III Greenway

McGill & Associates has been contracted to oversee Part 1 of Phase III. The 14-acre county park off Old Greenlee Road is scheduled to be rebuilt with construction starting no later than January 1. It will have a dog park, camping sites, fishing pier, restrooms, and new parking area. The park will also be the starting point for the cross country trail that will end at the football field at McDowell High School. This will be a very challenging course. The county has secured a $250,000 Part F grant and an $85,000 RTP grant for the park. The county will match funds for a projected cost of $670,000 for Part 1 of Phase III.

Resources Institute was able to get the county in the Governor’s budget this year for $450,000 which the county matches for greenways. Part of these funds will be used to build a 100-foot bridge spanning the Catawba River at the county park to the Boyd/Hall property adjoining Buck Creek. We had anticipated the cost to be in the $500,000 range. Ford Miller’s estimate came in at $200,000. We will use part of the $450,000 to pay for the bridge. We are going to use the remaining funds to begin grading the 2.5 miles of greenway. The NC Department of Transportation has agreed to pave the greenway at a cost of $1.5 million. They are projecting 2023 for paving, but because we already have secured the easements, we can be bumped up to an earlier date.

Peavine Greenway

The NC Department of Transportation has agreed to pave the Peavine Greenway from State Street to McDowell Tech. They have put $500,000 in their budget for this project which is scheduled for the same time frame as Part 1 of Phase III.

Fonta Flora State Trail

The Fonta Flora State Trail will cross McDowell County and connect Burke and Buncombe Counties. When this trail is completed from downtown Morganton to the River Arts District in Asheville, there will be approximately 75 miles of trail. Nearly half of the trail will be in McDowell County. Every effort will be made to keep the trail along the Catawba River.

Point Lookout Trail

Point Lookout Trail is the 3.2 miles of what used to be Old Highway 70 from Old Fort to Ridgecrest. The US Forest Service recently redid this road for McDowell County. It is in excellent condition, and the vista from Point Lookout is breathtaking with a view of over 50 miles.

Joseph McDowell and YMCA Greenways

These two greenways continue to get terrific use by the citizens of McDowell County. The Rotary Club of Marion recently erected a lighted flagpole being the McDowell House where the greenway begins. The MTA bricks will be displayed at the new flagpole.

The MTA wants to create an economic engine that will drive McDowell County for generations to come. Thank you for supporting the MTA!


Steve Pierce