It was a mileage marker by the side of the greenway. Having spent last week hiking the Mountains-to-Sea Trail along the Blue Ridge Parkway, I was accustomed to seeing mileage markers in the form of the parkway’s knee-high stone obelisks that tick off every mile. And I have seen them before on greenways, but never with such a high number. Rarely, in fact, in double digits.
The 31.5-mile marker was about 3.5 miles inside the Johnston County line along the Neuse River, on a patch of newly minted greenway that will soon attach to similar greenway making its way downstream from Wake County. Already on the opposite end, originating at the base of Falls dam, 6.46 miles of greenway opened last fall. By the end of next year, another 21.54 miles is scheduled to be done, creating 28 miles of greenway will link with this 3.5-mile stretch to create a 31.5-mile dedicated, paved, pedestrian passage, the longest in the state.
This lower stretch is the most recent to open. In total, it’s 3.6 miles. That includes the 1.2-mile Sam’s Branch Greenway, with runs from a gravel parking lot off N. O’Neal Street in Clayton to the Neuse. There, the greenway turns upstream and runs 2.4 miles, crossing the Neuse, going under Covered Bridge Road (where there’s also parking and trail access) and heading up to Marks Creek. There, a nearly complete bridge will make the remaining 1.4-mile connection up to the Wake County line. The 31.5-mile stretch will be part of the statewide Mountains-to-Sea Trail.
As it is, the just-completed greenway makes for a nice bike ride with the kids or a nice 7.2-mile (out-and-back) walk or training run.
Our two-minute tour (above) gives a sense of the experience. Enjoy.
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Clayton/Johnston County Greenway
View Clayton Greenway in a larger map
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