Middle Fork Greenway Economic Impact Study Completed

Our funding partners made it happen; The Blowing Rock Village Foundation, Watauga Economic Development Committee, and private donors, Chetola Resort, Ted & Marty Couch, Bob & Susan Hambright, and John & Lucy Aldridge.   Researchers from North Carolina State University, Institute for Transportation, Research and Education (ITRE) found that an investment in the Middle Fork Greenway could result in:

  • 38,000 annual trips on the greenway
  • $10 million in health benefits (value of extended life over 10 years)
  • 9.5% increase in the value of properties within a half mile of the greenway
  • $296,000 increase in local property tax revenue per year
  • $947,000 annually in business activity benefits
  • 12 new jobs that support $276,300 in labor income
  • 12,000 annual tourist trips on the greenway – estimated to generate $6 million in the local economy


Much progress has been made, and recently momentum has accelerated significantly. Blue Ridge Conservancy and High Country Pathways are working to identify the best and alternative routes for the greenway trail as well as securing funding through a combination of public and private sources; donations, local fundraising events, tourism, federal and state grant programs. Private donations are critical to providing matching funds to attract public dollars.

View Map Below ↓