Harnett County Parks and Recreation announced this week that a new section of the Dunn-Erwin Rail Trail and the Cape Fear River Trail Park’s Greenway Trail have been designated into the East Coast Greenway (ECG) Network, a developing biking and walking route from Canada to Key West.
The Cape Fear River Trail Park opened in 2008 with support from the Parks and Recreation Trust Fund and the Harnett Forward Together Committee. The scenic park offers 16 acres of walking trails, overlooks, canoe access, and picnic shelter with restrooms.
With the original Dunn-Erwin Rail Trail already a part of the ECG Network, the new designation will add a 2.1 mile trail extension which includes the new trail extension that was completed in 2017 and the greenway trail at River Park. This partnership with the East Coast Greenway Alliance will help to advance the 3,000-mile route, one third of which is now on paths that are safe for all ages and abilities. The goal of completing the East Coast Greenway, the nation's longest linear park, represents a commitment to public health, environmental sustainability, economic development, and civic engagement.
Harnett County Parks and Recreation Director, Carl Davis, is excited for the new designation. He stated, “The ECG is a nationally known trail that will bring more people into our county and towns for tourism.” With the new designation, the Dunn-Erwin Rail Trail will form a 7.3 mile section of the East Coast Greenway running through Harnett County.
Through central and eastern North Carolina, the East Coast Greenway spans 365 miles with 98 miles completed and 47 miles in active planning or development. The current spine route begins in Granville County and passes through the Research Triangle cities of Durham and Raleigh on extensive greenway trails, then touches the Sandhills and enters Fayetteville. It runs across the coastal plain along the Cape Fear River and through the port city of Wilmington.
You can learn more about the amenities of the Cape Fear River Trail Park by visiting: http://www.harnett.org/parkrec/cape-fear-river-trail-park.asp. For more information on the East Coast Greenway Route in North Carolina, visit: https://www.greenway.org/states/north-carolina.