Trail Guidance

Total trail mileage count


miles of trails in state parks


miles of state trails designated to date

Want to contribute to adding some more miles?

The North Carolina Trails Program can assist you in identifying steps to create a trail from scatch or manage an existing trail.

Benefits of trails



will be connected by the Carolina Thread Trail that will link 15 counties in North Carolina and South Carolina.

Community connections

Trails and greenways create connections between neighborhoods, schools and parks. They also provide a low-cost, non-motorized transportation between multiple communities. In addition, trail building fosters social capital, as local governments, businesses, residents and volunteers come together to plan, create and use the trail.

Volunteers work together at Elk Knob State Park

miles logged in 2017

by more than 5,000 participants of the North Carolina State Parks 100-Mile Challenge.

Healthy lifestyles

Trails also provide pleasant venues for healthful physical activity. There is scientific evidence that providing convenient access to places where people can walk, bike and hike, increases the level of physical activity in a community.

In 2016, North Carolina State Parks launched the 100-Mile Challenge to encourage visitors and residents of the state to explore our beautiful trails and waterways. Most participants cite a desire for a healthier lifestyle as their reason for joining the challenge. To date, more than 10,000 participants are hiking, walking, biking, paddling and horseback riding on North Carolina trails regularly.


million estimated spending per year

induced by the East Coast Greenway in the Triangle area

Economic impact

Numerous studies have shown that trail systems and greenways can have a tremendous impact on economic development in the surrounding communities. Trails revitalize urban areas, recreational tourism and small business opportunities. In the Triangle, the East Coast Greenway is estimated to have a total beneficial impact of $90 million per year, combining health, environmental, economic and transportation benefits.

Several studies also show that new trails can have a positive impact for residents in the area. Typical property value studies estimate a minimum increase of 4 percent in the value of properties surrounding a new trail in the first year after the trail is built. For  homeowners in the Triangle, that is a combined $164 million rise in property values due to the East Coast Greenway system.