Recent grants awarded by the Transylvania Always Committee, a division of Transylvania County Tourism, have allowed for exciting new trail developments at Horse Cove/Joel Branch and a much-needed repair to the existing trail at Cantrell Creek. These improvements will provide cyclists with even more routes to explore Transylvania County via mountain bike.
“Cycling is a big part of our community,” says Clark Lovelace, executive director of Transylvania County Tourism. “It is critical for us to take care of the many natural resources that support it.”
The connector trail at Horse Cove/Joel branch will provide critical links between three popular outdoor areas: the Pisgah Ranger District (which includes the Davidson River Campground, the Pisgah Ranger Station, the Estatoe Trail and more), the NC Wildlife Education Center, and Brevard’s Bracken Mountain Trail System. The new trail, funded by the Transylvania Always Committee with assistance from Brevard and Transylvania County governments, serves the dual purpose of providing cyclists with an exciting new thoroughfare while also preserving the natural landscape by discouraging unauthorized use of other trails.
The Cantrell Creek Trail, a popular cycling destination, has suffered from erosion, sedimentation problems and trail shifts due to its proximity to the water. A diverse group of partners, including Pisgah Trout Unlimited, the U.S. Forest Service, Mills River Partnership, Mountain True and several other regional branches of Trout Unlimited, were able to acquire funds for restoration through Transylvania Always, Orvis and Trout Unlimited’s Embrace A Stream Project. These new improvements will reroute a portion of trail away from the water, allowing for restoration of the natural stream landscape and improved trail conditions for cyclists.
“Both projects are very exciting,” says John Cottingham, executive director of the Pisgah Conservancy. “The Cantrell Creek Restoration is a great example of how multiple federal and state agencies, nonprofit organizations, private businesses and local governments can work together to protect critical waterways and promote sustainable recreation. The Joel Branch/Horse Cove Project will provide the missing link for a great loop trail connecting Brevard and Pisgah.”
Officials are hopeful that the Cantrell Creek restoration will be completed later this year and the Joel Branch/Horse Cove Project will be finished by 2020. For more information on sustainability efforts in Transylvania County or to sign up for a trail building maintenance crew, go to www.explorebrevard.com/sustainability.