For decades, Moses Cone—a national park unit near Blowing Rock, N.C.—has attracted elite runners to its wide, rolling carriage trails and scenic lakeside paths. One of the country’s elite Olympic training centers —ZAP Fitness—is headquartered near Moses Cone. Many Olympic hopefuls have been forged on the trails of Moses Cone.
Earlier this month, the National Park Service proposed restrictions on trail running in Moses Cone. According to the Blowing Rock News, a senior Blue Ridge Parkway official said that the park’s “frequent use by running groups and trail rides disrupts the experience of anyone wanting to walk in solitude.” Its proposed plan would likely result in a substantial reduction in the carriage roads’ use by organized running groups. Future Olympians—who live and train in our mountains—may have to look elsewhere to chase their dreams. And thousands of everyday runners will be denied access to some of the most scenic and exceptional trail running in the Blue Ridge.
Fortunately, the draft plan can still be changed. The National Park Service is seeking comments on the draft plan. Express your thoughts on the proposed trail running restrictions in this beloved national park here.