Trail Blazers onto Trail #3

The FVR Volunteer Trail Blazers are on a roll. Trail expert Tim Johnson noted that the current logging road turn trail (called the Red Outer Loop) was not at all sustainable and the trail should be rerouted into the woods. After Tim flagged the new 0.95 mile section, volunteers got to work clearing the corridor.

Once again, Farris Group donated funds for renting an excavator. Eric and Johnny spent the week getting the trail ready for volunteers to do the finishing work. This is a long, rocky section and work continues with the goal of completing the trail by the January 1 New Year’s Resolution Runs.


Ribbon Cutting at Valdese Lakeside Park

On a blustery, sunny afternoon, over 100 attendees gathered on the shore of Lake Rhodhiss to cut the ribbon and dedicate Phase 1 of Valdese Lakeside Park. NC House Speaker Tim Moore was the honored guest representing state funds that receive allocations from the General Assembly. The NC Clean Water Management Trust Fund (NCLWF) and the Parks and Recreation Trust Fund (PARTF) supplied grant monies to the project, along with funding from the speaker’s office. During the event, Speaker Moore said, “I am pleased we have a signed budget this year that provides generously for PARTF and NCLWF. It gives me great satisfaction to see small towns like Valdese benefiting from these state grant opportunities.” Continue reading Ribbon Cutting at Valdese Lakeside Park

Tour of Construction at VLP

Senator Warren Daniel was among the attendees at the Friends of the Valdese Rec (FVR) construction update tour at Valdese Lakeside Park. Work on phase one amenities started in May and will be completed by November 30. Donors, elected officials and candidates received an update from FVR President Beth Heile while standing in the graded parking lot where the restrooms and kiosk will be located. They then walked the greenway that will be ADA compliant and saw the future locations of the overlook, kayak launch and fishing pier. Attendees journeyed 1.3 miles to the future suspension bridge location that will take park visitors to McGalliard Falls Park. Rep Hugh Blackwell was impressed with the progress from his days of walking the grassy, mud puddle filled trail that had been available to visitors for the past three years. Blackwell sponsored legislation creating the Wilderness Gateway State Trail and has been working with local governments in planning the Burke River Trail – both trails follow the Valdese Greenway. Continue reading Tour of Construction at VLP

NC Year of the Trail 2023

North Carolinians have something new to look forward to in 2023. Under the leadership of Representative Dean Arp, R-69 (Union), Representative Hugh Blackwell, R-86 (Burke), Representative Pat Hurley, R-70 (Randolph), Representative Larry Strickland, R-28 (Harnett, Johnston), the NC House and now the NC Senate on August 10, 2021 passed HB 554, designating 2023 as “North Carolina Year of the Trail. This designation is supported by the North Carolina Great Trails State Coalition (of which FVR is a member) and the group will be spearheading the plans for the year. Continue reading NC Year of the Trail 2023

Greenway Construction Started

As work continues at Valdese Lakeside Park on the parking area and restroom site, the greenway is now getting attention. Pictured here is where the greenway passes the picnic area (or the right). If you ever walked the grass greenway, you know this was a little steep. Workers are cutting into the hill to make sure it meets ADA standards for grade.

To see weekly construction update videos from FVR Media Specialist Zakk Heile, go to VLP Construction

Continue reading Greenway Construction Started

Rep Blackwell – Conservation Award

Representative Hugh Blackwell has been named Public Lands Conservationist of the Year by NCWF.

NC Representative Hugh Blackwell (District 86) has been a trailblazer in preserving thousands of acres in western North Carolina by increasing the miles of trails, leaving a legacy for future generations.

A State Trail can only be created by authorization of the General Assembly. Blackwell worked with NC State Parks and sponsored bills for three State Trails – Fonta Flora State Trail (Morganton to Asheville), Wilderness Gateway State Trail (Baker’s Mountain to Chimney Rock) and Overmountain Victory State Trail (SC line and TN line to Stone Mountain). After the passing of the bills, the number of State Trails from grew from six to nine. Continue reading Rep Blackwell – Conservation Award