Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Funding boost spurs planning, design of 26-mile trail in Cherokee County

Jason Thomas //May 1, 2024//

Cherokee County has received a Federal Lands Access Program grant that will provide significant funding to plan and design approximately 26 miles of trail associated with the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail corridor and Carolina Thread Trail. (Photo/Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail/Carolina Thread Trail)

Cherokee County has received a Federal Lands Access Program grant that will provide significant funding to plan and design approximately 26 miles of trail associated with the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail corridor and Carolina Thread Trail. (Photo/Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail/Carolina Thread Trail)

Cherokee County has received a Federal Lands Access Program grant that will provide significant funding to plan and design approximately 26 miles of trail associated with the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail corridor and Carolina Thread Trail. (Photo/Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail/Carolina Thread Trail)

Cherokee County has received a Federal Lands Access Program grant that will provide significant funding to plan and design approximately 26 miles of trail associated with the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail corridor and Carolina Thread Trail. (Photo/Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail/Carolina Thread Trail)

Funding boost spurs planning, design of 26-mile trail in Cherokee County

Jason Thomas //May 1, 2024//

Listen to this article

A new trail is taking shape in Cherokee County thanks to a federal funding boost.

Cherokee County has received a Federal Lands Access Program (FLAP) grant that will provide significant funding to plan and design approximately 26 miles of trail associated with the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail (OVVI) corridor and Carolina Thread Trail (CTT), according to a news release.

The Federal Lands Access Program was created to improve state and local transportation facilities that provide access to and through federal lands, the release stated. The OVVI is one of 21 congressionally designated national historic trails and was established in 1980 as the first national historic trail east of the Mississippi.

The amount of the funding was not disclosed.

Approximately 35 miles of the historic trail corridor traverse Cherokee County as it extends from the city of Chesnee to its terminus at Kings Mountain National Military Park. It commemorates the route of patriot militia in their pursuit of Major Patrick Ferguson and the loyalist militia under his command to Kings Mountain, where the patriots defeated British Major Patrick Ferguson’s loyalist forces in a battle that shifted the momentum of the American Revolution.

“The FLAP grant will take us one step closer to the day when people will be able to traverse across this land as was done in 1780, all the way to the Battle of Kings Mountain, to retrace the path and to experience it as one of the formative events of this nation,” Trail Administrator Jeff Ellison said in the release.

Related: Cherokee County unveils new $2.8M Gaffney complex for state services

Related: Work begins on $13M music venue in Greenville’s West End

The CTT is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that advocates and supports the development of greenways, trails and blueways across 15 counties in North and South Carolina. Its mission is to create a legacy of conservation and connectivity through a regional network of trails.

“The FLAP grant demonstrates how important this trail project is to our nation’s history. But it will also be meaningful for thousands of residents of the Carolinas, expanding access to nature in one of the most beautiful parts of the Piedmont,” Carolina Thread Trail Director Bret Baronak said in the release.

The grant will be used to create a trail design within the historic OVVI corridor that would provide a safe and more inviting means for walkers, hikers and bicyclists to access Kings Mountain National Military Park, while reducing environmental, social, and health costs associated with accessing the park by motor vehicle, the release stated.

It will connect key population centers and natural and cultural resources, including Gaffney, Lake Whelchel, the Broad River, Blacksburg and Kings Mountain. It complements two trail projects currently underway: construction of a two[1]mile segment of the OVVI/CTT connecting Chesnee and Cowpens National Battlefield, and construction of three miles of trail and a new trailhead/parking area at Lake Whelchel.

“Today, we have the honor of working together to plan out a trail system that preserves the natural environment and provides a place for outdoor recreation,” said Diana Bramble, superintendent of Cowpens National Battlefield, Kings Mountain National Military Park, and the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail. “Visitors will have a chance to engage in experiential learning about an important part of the history associated with the forming of our nation, as they walk in the footsteps of the Overmountain men. This trail serves as an important reminder that everything is connected. We can make incredible things happen when we work together.”

n