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Great Trails State Coalition

A broad-based group of diverse organizations, agencies, and supporters advocating for increased state investment in all types of trails in North Carolina – hiking, paddle, mountain bike, equestrian, paved.

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Members & Counting

We are proud of our wide range of members all standing behind a platform for trails in North Carolina. The Coalition has 79 total members: 39 non-profit partners, 24 business partners, 16 government partners, and 5 advisors. 

See who is on board.

Why Support Trails

Trail use has increased more than 300% in some places in the last year. The pandemic has demonstrated how eager North Carolinians are for safe places to be outside in nature.

Outdoor recreation is a $28 billion dollar industry, and will be an important part of our economic recovery from covid-19. New trails can help build both physical and economic connections and allow us to capitalize on NC’s natural beauty, warm people and rich history.

NCDOT’s Great Trails State Plan, to be published in 2021, is a plan to connect all 100 NC counties by trails. State funding will provide matching dollars for significant federal funds and speed investment ready projects to completion, benefitting citizens and the outdoor recreation economy.

Off-road trail networks help people safely get to their destinations. Each year more than 3,000 pedestrians and 850 bicyclists are hit by vehicles in North Carolina, making NC one of the most dangerous states in the US for walking and bicycling.

Trails have a significant return on investment:

Every $1.00 spent on trail construction generates $1.72 ANNUALLY from local business revenue, sales tax revenue, & benefits related to health and transportation.

An NC DOT study of a one-time $26.7 million investment in four NC shared-use paths created the following economic impacts:

$19.4 million

Estimated ANNUAL sales revenue at local businesses along the four greenways

$25.7 million

Estimated ANNUAL savings due to more physical activity, less pollution and congestions, and fewer traffic injuries from greenway use

$48.7 million

Estimated business revenue from greenway construction


Jobs are supported ANNUALLY through greenway construction

Trails are Investment Ready

The Great Trails State Coalition collected information from communities about natural and paved trail projects that are ready for construction and design.

There are 263 projects in 52 counties, representing an estimated $511 million of construction costs. NC DOT’s Great Trails State Plan identifies future projects in all 100 counties. Check them out below.

Are you on board?

Lumber River State Park | Robeson County. Image by NC State Parks.