Alexander County Government joins communities across North Carolina in celebrating the 2023 “Year of the Trail,” a statewide campaign inviting every North Carolinian to get outside onto the trails, greenways, and blueways that stretch across the state.
In Alexander County, there are multiple parks with hiking trails and walking paths, so citizens are encouraged to enjoy the great outdoors at a local park.
Rocky Face Mountain Recreational Area has approximately six (6) miles of moderate to strenuous trails, as well as a flat 1/3-mile ADA-accessible paved track. Thousands of area residents have participated in the popular Vertical Mile Challenge, which includes the “Stairway to Heaven” trail segment. In addition, the park will host the 9th Annual Vertical Mile Challenge trail race on June 24 this year.
The newest trail in Alexander County is located at the Wittenburg Access Area. Heron Point Nature Trail is approximately one (1) mile long and is quickly becoming the favorite trail for many people, especially in the Bethlehem area.
There is also a one-mile hiking trail at Dusty Ridge Park and a 1/4-mile paved track at East Alexander Park.
As for bicycling, the NCDOT’s NC-2 Mountains to Sea trail runs through Alexander County. Check out the map and more details at www.ncdot.gov/bikeped/ncbikeways/routes/nc2-mountains-to-sea/default.aspx.
“We’re excited to promote the Year of the Trail here in Alexander County. We encourage our residents to enjoy the true beauty of Alexander County by going walking, hiking, or running on our trails,” said Alisha Stamey, Parks Director. “Getting outside and exercising is good for the mind and the body, so plan some time to enjoy the great outdoors with your friends and family.”
On August 10, 2021, the NC legislature passed HB 554, designating 2023 as the “North Carolina Year of the Trail.” This historic designation underscores the tremendous energy behind showcasing, promoting, and celebrating North Carolina’s trails, both in terms of their incredible impact on the quality of life for NC residents, as well as significant economic impact on individual communities that benefit from “trail tourism,” such as Alexander County.
The Great Trails State Coalition (GTSC) is leading the Year of the Trail efforts in North Carolina. Comprised of over 50 organizations working to build more opportunities to hike, bike, walk, run, roll, paddle, and ride, the GTSC has partnered with communities to highlight trails and encourage residents to get outside and enjoy local trails, as well as new trail experiences across the state.
For more information on the Year of the Trail, visit https://greattrailsnc.com. To hear stories from the trail, learn about new trails, and share your experiences, follow @greattrailsnc on Facebook and Instagram.
To learn more about Alexander County parks and trails, visit https://alexandercountync.gov/departments/parks-and-recreation.