Executive Director Beth Heile was the guest of the popular podcast Exploration Local. She spoke about the goal to get the 100-mile Fonta Flora State Trail completed in 10 years, the efforts to get state funding and where you can explore the trail right now.
F3ST met with Friends of Lake James State Park for their August 19 Board Meeting. The meeting started with a tour of the Lake James State Park Visitor Center by Superintendent Nora Coffey. The mall hall entrance of the new visitor center will include the educational exhibits – instead of being stuck in a room that may be missed. FFST will also be in the main hall – lines on the floor will represent different roads and trails.
Even though there are orange feathers on the barrier of the NC 126 bridge, this is not designated FFST – yet. For the State to designate trail, it must be safe for users and this shoulder is not.
Thanks to Heather Cotton, City of Marion Planning and Development Director, we are getting closer to an interactive FFST map for the public. Today, land managers came together for Heather to explain what data they could add and edit. Hopefully, in September, you will be able to explore the trail online and then get out on the trail in person! (map shown may not be the final route – just a beta version).
North Carolinians have something new to look forward to in 2023. Under the leadership of Representative Dean Arp, R-69 (Union), Representative Hugh Blackwell, R-86 (Burke), Representative Pat Hurley, R-70 (Randolph), Representative Larry Strickland, R-28 (Harnett, Johnston), the NC House and now the NC Senate on August 10, 2021 passed HB 554, designating 2023 as “North Carolina Year of the Trail”. This designation is supported by the North Carolina Great Trails State Coalition (of which F3ST is a member) and the group will be spearheading the plans for the year.
F3ST Executive Director Beth Heile loves to talk about the Fonta Flora State Trail. She would love to be a part of your online or in-person meeting. She has spoken to Rotary Clubs, Hiking Groups, and other Civic Clubs. The options are endless – 15 minute power point or 5 minute overview. Just reach out – firstname.lastname@example.org