Few projects in the region offer the range of benefits that the Middle Fork Greenway will.
The mountain terrain can be difficult, but a greenway trail can be accessible by all ages and athletic abilities; bicyclists, wheelchairs, roller skates, skateboards, cross country skiers, walkers, joggers and even marathon runners.
Creating Safe Access
While the High Country features various types of outdoor recreation, safe pedestrian and cycling infrastructure is limited near the largest populated areas. Greenway trails provide safe alternative transportation to schools, shopping, restaurants, work, and local attractions. Imagine being able to walk, run or cycle from Boone to Blowing Rock along the path of the Middle Fork New River, encountering pocket parks, regional destinations and beautiful natural landscapes along the way.
The High Country offers exceptional access to the outdoors and you can get out and enjoy an active lifestyle any day of the week and any season of the year on a greenway trail. Many people don’t realize the game-changing role that greenways play in improving one’s health. Health care providers recognize the benefits of safe walking and cycling and some have started prescribing trail walking regimens to their patients.
Supporting Local Economy
The High Country offers exceptional outdoor experiences and relies on tourism as an economic driver. Tourists come to explore our natural and cultural resources and spend money on lodging restaurants and shopping. The quality of life in a community is an increasingly important factor in corporate relocation decisions; greenways are often cited as important contributors to quality of life and to the attractiveness of a community to which businesses are considering relocating. Retiring baby boomers, young families and recent college grads all value walking and biking trails and vacationers seek destinations with accessible trails.
Protecting the Environment
The greenway is a linear park that can serve as a recreational space while also enhancing and protecting the river with native vegetation. These trees and shrubs along the stream can help shade and keep the water cool for our trout, filter pollution from runoff, provide a source of food, and a corridor for migration. As the high country urbanizes it becomes evident that our green spaces are even more important, as they will protect our headwater streams for drinking water, recreation, and an overall quality of life. The MFG provides people with an alternative to driving their cars by providing bike and pedestrian access between Boone and Blowing Rock.