Welcome to NC Rail-Trails!

North Carolina Rail-Trails preserves rail corridors and works with communities across North Carolina to create trails for public use on abandoned rail corridors.

Rail-trails differ from other trails and greenways in several characteristics. The terrain for rail-trails is generally flat or gently sloped because the land was originally engineered for rail use. This makes rail-trails wonderful places to ride a bike and many are wheelchair accessible. Also, rail corridors are usually wide enough to accommodate many different types of trail use: biking, walking, jogging, horseback riding, dog walking, pogo-sticking … the possibilities are endless.

Another positive attribute of a rail-trail is that it actually goes somewhere. Just as trains go from one community to the next, so does the rail-trail, creating a natural link between communities. Today, we can maintain these community links by utilizing existing rail corridors that are so perfectly suited for trails.

Does your community have an abandoned railroad? Would you like to have a safe place to play and exercise while preserving your community’s train heritage? Please contact NCRT if you would like us to help you create a rail-trail in your area.

Link to News Archive

To see all earlier NEWS items please go to our News Archives page.

We've added some new trail images to our Photo Gallery.

posted by emily on March 10, 2015

Join NCRT on Saturday, May 16th, 2015 for the 2nd Annual Toast to Trails Cycle & Sip. This bicycle ride boasts a 36-mile round trip ride on the American Tobacco Trail (ATT). The half-way point features a stop at Cloer Family Vineyards for lunch, music, and wine tasting. Sights along the way include the American Tobacco Campus, 17 miles along the ATT, and the new bike-ped bridge over I-40. And if 18-miles is enough for you, there will be a shuttle available to return you and your bike to your car.

This exclusive event is 95% off-road and is limited to 200 riders. Proceeds will benefit North Carolina Rail-Trails, the statewide nonprofit land trust dedicated to preserving rail corridors and creating rail-trails for public use.

Click here to learn more and register today!

posted by emily on March 9, 2015

Great news from Brevard! The Brevard City Council has formally supported the creation of the Ecusta Trail in their community. The rail-trail creation process involves many pieces, and the involvement and support of local government is a very important part of the puzzle. Congratulations to Brevard and the Ecusta Trail for bringing this wonderful project one step closer to completion.

Read about it here: Transylvania Times article 3-5-2015

April 29: Henderson County Tourism Development Authority votes to help fund Ecusta Trail with allocation of 1/4 of 1% of the County's lodging tax. This is good news and is expected to amount to between $70,000 and $80,000 each year.

posted by curt on December 30, 2014

AL Capehart and C.R. Townsend

Santa AL, aka Al Capehart was a long time advocate for securing the retired rail corridor and for the development of the ATT as a multi-use rail-trail. Many have referred to him as the father of the ATT. As a second career AL has appeared as Santa in the Raleigh-Durham area for many years and had a long ambition to have Santa take a spin on the I-40 bridge. On December 26th, his dream came true. Here is a picture of Santa with Carolyn Townsend, another champion of rail-trails and the Chair of NC Rail-Trails until 2009. For addional images of this happy event please see several on Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/9986245@N05/sets/72157649530297889/

posted by curt on December 7, 2014

Greenville County S.C. and Furman University have recently released an economic impact study of the third full year of the 18.7 mile Swamp Rabbit Rail Trail. Trail usage by both local citizens and visitors has grown substantially since the trail was opened in May 2010. A number of new small businesses catering to increased tourism have been spawned near the trail at the eastern end of the trail in Travelers Rest, SC. The County and others involved with the trail have produced a number of useful maps of the trail. For an interesting documentation of the long term role of this rail corridor please see http://greenvillerec.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Swamp-Rabbit-Trail-H...