CARTER COUNTY, TN (WJHL)– Carter county parks and recreation’s planned extension of the popular Tweetsie Trail will be taking a detour. Carter County is planning to extend the trail from Elizabethton to Roan Mountain.
Previously organizers had looked into possibly taking the trail through the Doe River Gorge, but in order to preserve existing properties in the Doe River Gorge area, the trail will be going a different route.
As Dan Reese explained, “we have considered many routes and one of the ones that we’ve considered is with the Doe River Gorge- through that beautiful area. However, we do have a Christian church camp that impedes public access and because of safety for the campers there, we probably will not be able to use that.”
The trail will now run from Elizabethton through Hampton and detour onto Old Railroad Grade Road. Reese said, “it was formerly the train track for the Tweetsie railroad.”
Reese said this one lane road was paved over in the 1950’s and now serves as a very scenic county road as it follows the Doe River. While the road is still open to motorists, Reese is not concerned that traffic will impact trail users.
He said, “we don’t feel like it would be a danger between pedestrians, bicyclists and automobiles on that road- given the fact that it has so little use for traffic.”
The trail will continue along Old Railroad Grade Road and make its way up to Roan Mountain Community Park. Local resident, Judy Tudiver said “this area is so beautiful, our mountains are so beautiful and any chance to give people the opportunity to get out into nature, into the hills, and to appreciate the beauty around us… I think is a fabulous opportunity.”
And if it gets passed- the Tweetsie trail could also see another addition in Carter County. Reese stated that “one of the things that we are planning for the Tweetsie trail is the possibility of an overpass across Oak Avenue from the Tweetsie trail to (Sycamore Shoals) state park.”
The project will extend the trail from a 10 mile stretch to a total of 26 miles. Reese says in the future, Carter county parks and rec. may also decide to build a trailhead at Roan Mountain’s community park.
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