An ambitious trails project in North Carolina’s Pisgah National Forest is getting a big financial boost that will help bring the effort towards completion. In late September the U.S. Forest Service announced that the Old Fort Trails Project, an initiative to build 42 miles of trails in Pisgah’s Grandfather Ranger District near the town of Old Fort, would receive a $2.5 million grant from the state of North Carolina.
Spearheaded by Camp Grier and what’s known as the G5 Collective, the project started back in 2021 and, to date, 10 miles of trails have been completed, including the newly opened Old Fort Gateway Trails.
The new funding will be used to construct an additional 25-30 miles of trails over the next two years. When completed, the project will result in a network of multi-use trails located between Catawba Falls and Curtis Creek, with a goal of being fully open at some point in 2025.
“This ground-breaking investment in Old Fort is a true testament to the importance of national forests as an asset for our local communities,” said James Melonas, Forest Supervisor for the National Forests in North Carolina, in a press release.
Read Blue Ridge Outdoors’ coverage of the inception of the Old Fort Trails Project and the efforts of the G5 Collective here.
Trail builders from the G5 Collective hard at work. Photo courtesy of the McDowell Tourism Authority