About the State Trail

The Deep River State Trail was authorized in 2007 by the General Assembly. The DRST is unique in that it is a hybrid trail for the entire length — both a land-based and paddle trail. Randolph County and its towns along the river have led the efforts in planning and constructing segments of the DRST. Much of the land trail, in Randolph County, is a rail trail open to hiking and biking.

Trail blaze for Deep River State Trail

The waterwheel in DRST's blaze is a nod to the Deep River's history of textile mill villages — all dependent on the power provided by the moving water in the river. The rail line, which once connected all the mill village communities, is the actual base of the land trail.

Trail Use






While section sponsors build, maintain, and manage their section of a state trail — deciding on location, design, surface, permitted uses and amenities — N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation staff are responsible for the overall corridor planning and coordination, as well as providing guidance and assistance to all section sponsors.

All State Trail Plans

Partner Organization

Tab/Accordion Items

The mission of the Piedmont Land Conservancy is to protect our region's natural lands, farms, and waters for present and future generations. PLC connects people with nature. Since 1990, PLC has protected over 28,000 acres of land, completing over 200 land protection projects.

North Carolina's Piedmont is a special place, with its scenic landscape of rolling hills, abundant rivers and streams, productive farms, diverse forests, historic communities, and a myriad of state and local parks and trails showcasing some of our region's most iconic natural places.

PLC's purpose is to protect these places to help ensure clean water for our communities, provide habitat for our wildlife, locally grown food, parks and trails, and create other places for people to connect with nature.

About Partner Organizations

The legislation that created the Complete the Trails program requires that funds be distributed by the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation to a nonprofit partner for each trail. To be the recognized partner, an organization must have a Memorandum of Understanding with the Division and an approved 3- to 5-year plan for deploying the funds to develop the state trail.

As part of the Complete the Trail Program, each state trail partner organization was required to submit a five-year plan, outlining priorities and goals until 2027 for their trail. Excerpts from the plan are outlined below.

Download the Plan (PDF)


Capacity Building Fund Projects:

  • Trail Coordinator position
  • Mapping
  • Project Coordination

Priority CTP Projects:

  • Complete the trail from Franklinville to Sapona
  • Complete the trail from Sapona to N.C. Textile Museum, including water access for the blueway


Estimated cost for all DRST priority projects $1,000,000+
Estimated cost for all DRST projects $1,000,000+
CTP allocation for DRST $860,828



Banner photo by N.C. DPR staff: Paddlers on the Deep River