FFST Land Manager Meeting

F3ST organized a meeting with FFST Land Managers and Smith Raynor, State Trails Planner for an overview of the state trail process. The goal was to make sure everyone understands what is expected in planning state trail, building state trail and having it designated. For example, what forms are required, what visits are needed and when, when trails can be marked as state trail, etc.

What did we learn from the meeting?
State Trail Process
  1. Must be authorized by general assembly – done in 2015 with HB339 – that only mentions the Lake James Loop – but does not restrict it to loop; therefore, it can extend
  2. Corridor Planning by the state – the state is accepting the map Heather has compiled as our official trail corridor (trail can vary 5-10 miles wide along corridor). Smith counts the F3ST planning meetings we had during this year as our stakeholders’ meetings and will include downtown Marion in the route which was not part of the original concept
  3. Segment Sponsors identified along route – these land managers will design, construct, and maintain the trail – always checking in with State Trails Planner during planning and constructing. Trails must be safe, sustainable and open to the public.
  4. Designation Process – occurs after construction. The State Trail Designation Application form is submitted to State Trails Planner (Smith). After her OK and she will need to walk the trail, she sends the application to the NC Trails Committee (meets Fall and Spring). Once they approve the application, it goes to Secretary of NCDNCR. The application includes map, sponsor info, safety plan, trail details, etc.

Other Notes:

  • For co-located trail, both trail groups need to submit an application.
  • Before designation, trail can be labeled “future section of FFST,” if you have been working with State Trails Planner
  • Trail must be separated from road with curb, sidewalk, fencing, vegetation (can be just grass, but not ideal) – not just paint.
  • See State Trails Act for more detail about roadside, etc.
FFST Officially Designated by State 18.7 miles
• Lake James Loop – 3.0
• County Park West and Eastlake Two and Three – 4.4
• Fonta Flora County Park East – 2.0
• Oaks Trail – 0.5
• Catawba River Greenway – 1.4 (McDowell)
• Point Lookout Trail – 3.6
• Catawba River Greenway – 3.8 (Burke)
Being Submitted by end of September for designation
• Copper Ridge (McDowell) 3 miles
• Greenlee Park (McDowell)
• Lake Loop (Burke) 1.2 miles
Read more about state trails – https://trails.nc.gov/state-trails