Planning effort seeks to form WNC regional multi-use trail network

The French Broad River Metropolitan Planning Organization has a plan that would create a 150-mile-plus trail network through Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson, Madison and Transylvania counties in North Carolina that is now out for public comment.

The group has been working with local governments and community stakeholders over the last year to develop plans for the Hellbender Regional Trail, which knits together various bicycle, pedestrian and greenway plans in the region to illustrate existing and planned trails that may someday connect to form a regional bike and walking trail network.

The Hellbender Regional Trail Plan does not intend to usurp local brands or mandate designs, but rather to make the various sections of the planned and existing network greater than the sum of their parts through increased coordination and partnerships, focusing on regional connections for multi-use paths. It’s a long-range plan, with full buildout representing a nearly tenfold increase in the miles of multi-use trail miles currently in the region.

The draft plan is available at, with comments accepted through Friday, Aug. 21, 2020 using the form on the website or by emailing An online workshop is planned for Friday, July 24, with more details forthcoming later.



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