State Parks Director Dwayne Patterson visited Old Fort to see what is happening with the Fonta Flora State Trail. He visited the future trailhead off Lackey Town Road and the Copper Ridge Trail – west of Camp Grier.
F3ST President Bob Hunter, pictured above between Deputy State Parks Director Brian Strong and State Parks Director Dwayne Patterson, explains where the FFST will cross the Old Fort Park and Trailhead. Other attendees include Tom Kenney, FCNC, Kim Effler, McDowell Chamber and Mavis Gragg, PARTF member.
Kim Effler, Executive Director of the McDowell Chamber, had the idea of acquiring the acreage for the park when she learned there was NC Connect NC Bond money available. The state owns the property and leases it to the Town of Old Fort. The town has applied for a PARTF grant to build parking, restroom, a dog park, 0.25 mile of paved FFST and more.
F3ST Executive Director Beth Heile organized the visit. Heile is a NC Parks and Recreation Trust Fund Authority Member and in that role hosted Director Patterson in a three county tour over three days, along with Foothills Conservancy of NC.
In addition to trail visits, he met with local leaders at local businesses along the trail route at Fonta Flora Brewery at Whippoorwill Farm, Hillman Brewery and Old Fort Ride House.
Director Patterson shared highlights of the Governor’s Budget. Please contact legislators and tell them you want trails, greenways and parks included in the state budget.