The City of Asheville is in the formative stages of developing a comprehensive greenway system that meets the needs and desires of the community. Greenways consistently rank high on the publics list of civic infrastructure priorities and the PRCA Department has been working diligently since the 1980’s to advance the communities greenway goals.
Greenways are multi-use paths used for recreation and alternative transportation that typically occupy stream and river corridors. Greenways connect people to the places they live, work, and play as well as preserve open space to promote air and water quality. Asheville currently offers 4.3 miles of developed greenways and is working towards its vision of a 15 mile system composed of 12 interconnected corridors.
Mariate Echeverry, Transportation Planning Manager
70 Court Plaza, Asheville, NC 28801
Phone: (828) 232-4528
Asheville’s varied topography and natural features affords a variety of experiences for the greenway users. Presently, most greenways are situated along stream, creek, and river corridors although mountain side and forested corridors will eventually be added to the mix. Many of Asheville’s existing greenways are located within individual parks where they compliment other recreational amenities. All greenway are designed to be handicap accessible.
The Asheville Parks, Recreation, Cultural Arts and Greenways Master Plan was approved in 2009 and includes a map of recommended greenways. The current Master Plan classifies greenways as “High” and “Medium” priority depending on the scale of connectivity they provide, land availablility, availability of funds and construction feasibility.
Greenways Recommendation Map
French Broad River Greenway, Western Segment
The Western Segment consists of a 10’ wide paved trail that extends from the FBR Park (at the confluence of the French Broad and Swannanoa River) to Hominy Creek Park (at the confluence of the French Broad River and Hominy Creek) for a total of 2.8 miles. The trail includes a short on-road section as well as a section that is incorporated into a private RV park. The French Broad River Greenway system is Asheville's major north-south alternative transportation corridor and overlaps with a portion of the Wilma Dykeman RiverWay Plan, a major urban waterfront redevelopment project.
Glenn’s Creek Greenway, Western Segment
The Western Segment consists of a 10’ wide paved trail that extends from W.T. Weaver Park to the Botanical Gardens of UNC-Asheville for a total of 1.0 miles. The trail connects the Norwood, Montford and UNC-A neighborhoods. The Western Segment makes up a vast majority of the Glenn’s Creek corridor.
Reed Creek Greenway, Phase I
Phase I, consists of a 10’ wide paved trail that extends from Catawba to Cauble Street for a total of 0.23 miles. Reed Creek Greenway is Asheville’s highest profile greenway because of its close proximity to downtown. Once complete, the 1.0 mile corridor will connect the Botanical Gardens, UNC-A, and the Montford neighborhood to downtown Asheville.
Swannanoa River Greenway, “Riverbend” Segment
The “Riverbend” Segment consists of a 10’ wide paved trail that runs in front of the Wal-Mart shopping center. It was constructed as part of a development agreement with the Wal-Mart developer and will eventually connect into the Swannanoa River Greenway system, Asheville’s major east-west alternative transportation corridor and part of the Dykeman Riverway Plan.
Town Branch Greenway, Phase I
Phase I begins at Choctaw Park, 500 feet west from the intersection with McDowell Street, travels west along Town Branch Creek and ends near the intersection of South French Broad Avenue and Choctaw Street, a few hundred feet from the new Livingston Street Recreation Center. Phase I takes the form of wide sidewalks and bike lanes and totals 0.2 miles. The Town Branch corridor will eventually connect the new Livingston Recreation Center to McDowell Street.
Greenways Under Development
Reed Creek Greenway, Phase II
Phase II will consist of a 10’ wide paved trail that will extend from Cauble to Magnolia Street for a total of 0.30 miles. This segment will include a bridge crossing, bio-retention features, trees, and an emergency call box. Construction is slated for spring, 2011 and will take approximately six months to complete.
Clingman Forest Greenway
The Clingman Forest Greenway will begin at Aston Park at Hilliard Avenue and follows an existing sewer line and city right-of-way down to Clingman Avenue for a total of 0.5 miles. The greenway will be encompassed by an urban forest and will connect to parts of a perennial stream with beautiful rock outcrops. There are potential connections to Aston Park, Asheville Middle School, YWCA, future affordable housing complex at the corner of Hilliard and Clingman Avenue, Owens Bell Park and surrounding residential areas. The planning for clingman forest is being funded by a Tiger II grant from the U.S. Dept. of Transportation.
Town Branch, Phase II
Phase II will consist of a 10’ wide paved trail that will extend from Depot street, in the River Arts District, to the existing trail on Choctaw Street. The corridor will utilize park space behind new Livingston Street Recreation Center. The project will also include off-road and sidewalk connections between Choctaw Park and McDowell Street. The Planning for Town Branch Greenway Phase II is being funded by a Tiger II grant from the U.S. Dept. of Transportation.
Beaucatcher Mountain Greenway
The Beuacatcher Mountain Greenway will begin at Memorial Stadium, travel north along the west slope of Beaucatcher Mountain to College Street. The corridor will end at the old Beaucatcher reservoir for a total of 1.25 miles. This wooded corridor will have commanding views of downtown Asheville and connects Beaucatcher Park and White Fawn Reservoir. The greenway will be a paved asphalt trail with brief on-road segments in the form of bike lanes and/or sidewalks. This corridor will connect Beaucatcher Park and White Fawn Reservoir to the old Beaucatcher Reservoir near the intersection of College Street and Windswept Drive. There are potential connections to Memorial Stadium/Mountainside Park, McCormick Field and the Asheland Avenue greenway corridor.