The state of North Carolina has officially designated 2023 as the “Year of the Trail”, with a goal of boosting awareness of trails as well as trail use across the state! Officials chose the year 2023 because it will be the 50th anniversary of the 1973 North Carolina Trails System Act. This act created the state’s Trails Program, which today is part of the Division of Parks and Recreation, and is assisted by the N.C. Trails Committee.
As the second-largest network of completed trails – and the largest when you include planned miles of trail – in N.C., we are incredibly excited about the opportunity this gives us to connect more people to the Carolina Thread Trail. From natural surface hiking trails, to paved greenways, to scenic blueways and paddle routes, the Thread Trail has something for everyone. And over the last year our trails have helped reconnect residents of the Carolina Piedmont with nature during an incredibly challenging time.
Not only are trails beneficial to individuals who want to spend time in the outdoors, they also serve as a cornerstone of North Carolina’s outdoor recreation industry, which was recently valued at $28 billion dollars. The decision by the N.C. General Assembly to spotlight trails by designating the “Year of the Trail” underscores the vital role this industry plays in tourism, economic development, health and transportation for the state.
Of course, we won’t be waiting until 2023 to share with people about our trails. With new miles of trail being constructed all the time, we’re always excited to tell people how to find their next adventure on the Thread Trail! If you’re looking for a trail to explore, check out our online map, or visit our upcoming events calendar to see what public programs are on the horizon.
We’ll see you on the trails!