Finding more greenways in North Carolina

Last week, we published a list of municipalities in North Carolina that we knew had greenways. Turns out there was a lot we didn’t know.

Since we published that list we’ve heard from an additional 14 municipalities with greenways, from Whiteville’s four greenways totaling a mile in length to Rocky Mount’s 7-mile system to Pinehurst’s 11-mile. Not only we’re we pleasantly surprised that so many municipalities in North Carolina have greenways, but that so many have plans to expand. And not just the Raleigh’s, the Cary’s and the Charlotte’s. Havelock, for instance, will soon add more than 4 miles to its 1-mile system, Albemarle is working on a 3-mile rails-to-trails greenway that will connect its Rock Creek Park and Montgomery Park to downtown, and Sanford, currently with 2 miles, intends to build a 20-mile greenway that will run out to and along the Deep River.

In North Carolina, greenways are alive and growing.

As I’ve mentioned, we’re revamping to include the most comprehensive greenway coverage in the state. Expect some news on that front by the end of May. Until then, the following list should help you track down any greenway in North Carolina. Keep it in mind as you travel the state. Find yourself in Jacksonville on business and in need of a run? Check out the 5.5-mile Jacksonville-Camp LeJeune Rails-to-Trails greenway. On your annual summer vacation to the Outer Banks and looking for a break from the beach? Take a bike ride on Manteo’s 8.8-mile greenway. And if you’re traveling any distance with kids, knowing where there’s a nearby greenway where they can stretch their legs (and burn some energy) can be invaluable.

Click on town names for details on their greenways.

* Indicates new listing from last week’s list.

Photo top: Raleigh’s Rocky Branch Greenway goes through the middle of the N.C. State campus. Here, it swings by the new softball field and State’s track.


North Carolina Rail-Trails Includes a rundown of 28 rails-to-trails projects throughout the state as well as projects in development.


Section of the Burgaw Greenway.

* Burgaw approximately 2.1 mile trail and greenway.

Greenville 3.3-mile greenway.

Jacksonville 5.5-mile Jacksonville-Camp LeJeune Rails-to-Trails greenway.

* Havelock 1.02-mile Greenway at the Recreation Complex off NC 101. Will be establishing a 4-plus mile Greenway on McCotter Canal soon.

Manteo 8.8-mile greenway.

* Whiteville Four greenways that connect and measure about 1 mile.



Apex Three greenways, 6 miles.

Chapel Hill Six main greenways/trails.

Carrboro Includes 1-mile Libba Cotten rails-with-trails project.

Cary 47 miles of greenway.

Durham Eight greenways, including about half of the 22-mile American Tobacco Trail.

Morrisville One greenway.

Raleigh 68 miles of greenway with more under construction.

Smithfield 3-mile Buffalo Creek Greenway runs along the Neuse River.

Wake Forest About 8 miles of greenway in 9 sections.


Greensboro 32 miles of paved greenway.

Guilford County Overseeing the nearly complete 15-mile Bicentennial Greenway bridging High Point and Greensboro.

Greenville's Greenway.

Winston-Salem 16 miles of greenway

High Point 9 miles of greenway

Wilkesboro 7.4-mile (and growing) Yadkin River Greenway.

Charlotte area

Mecklenburg County 35 miles of developed greenway

Carolina Thread Trail New effort to link greenways in 15 counties in the Charlotte area.

Gastonia One 2.7-mile greenway, one 1.7-mile rails-to-trails project

Kings Mountain 2.3-mile greenway

Concord 4-mile downtown loop.

Kannapolis 2-mile greenway.

Piedmont / elsewhere

* Albemarle Currently developing a 3-mile section of abandoned rail line into a greenway that will connect Rock Creek Park and Montgomery Park to downtown and to each other. About 1 mile is done, with grant funding being sought for development of the remainder.

* Archdale Approximately 3 miles of greenway trails in Archdale which begin in Creekside Park.

* Mount Airy 4.4 miles of greenway (2.2  miles on the Emily B. Taylor Greenway and 2.2 miles on the Ararat River Greenway). Ararat River Greenway also has water access. Three of four city Schools are connected to greenways.

* Pinehurst 6 miles of greenway, built since 2004.

* Rocky Mount About 7 miles of greenway. The longest: 3.1 miles of greenway trail along the Tar River.

* Sanford Two miles of greenway with the recent completion of a 1.4-mile section. Greenway eventually will reach to the Endor Iron Furnace on the Deep River. Long range plan: a 20-plus-mile loop from Sanford to and along the Deep River.

* Southern Pines Eleven miles with two more to be built.

* Statesville More than six miles of greenway with another 2.5 now being paved.


Asheville 4.3-mile greenway with plans for 15-mile system with 12 interconnected corridors

Black Mountain More than a mile of greenway, with plans for three more greenways.

* Boiling Springs (Cleveland County) Fifteen to 20 miles of trail for equestrians, mountain bikers and hikers along with being the beginning of an awesome blue way. We are celebrating our 16th birthday this year.

Brevard 5-mile paved greenway links Brevard with Davidson River area.

* Fletcher 3.1 miles of greenway (mix of wood chip, pebble stone and concrete) in Fletcher Community Park running along Cane Creek and Hoopers Creek.

Franklin 4-mile, mostly paved, Little Tennessee River Greenway

* Lenoir Greenway runs 4.76 miles over approximately 25 acres

Morganton 3.8-mile Catawba River Greenway, with connecting .6-mile Freedom Trail.

9 thoughts on “Finding more greenways in North Carolina”

  1. Joe, An outstanding list of the growing resources in NC. In addition to NCRT’s guide to rail-trails, RTC maintains a trails directory at And don’t forget other greenways: Oklawaha in Hendersonville, Broad River in Cleveland County, and Dismal Swamp Canal in Camden County. Keep up the great work.

  2. Hi Joe,

    I don’t think I saw on your list the beautiful and enjoyable Cape Fear River Trail in Fayetteville. Though I’ve not been there in a few years, when I was working on obtaining East Coast Greenway designation for it, I thought it was one of the most scenic greenways I had ever visited. The Parks staff did a super job with it, and they continue to do so.

    Here is the link:

  3. Great list — thanks for the info! I would love to have more details on a lot of these. (Southern Pines, for example: Is that 11 miles of continuous trail, or a series of disconnected trails?)

    1. I’m in the process of adding detail to all the greenways listed, and more. Haven’t gotten to Southern Pines yet, but I can tell you that it’s not all continuous trail.

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