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The East Coast Greenway Closer to Reality


The East Coast Greenway is the nation's first long-distance, city-to-city transportation corridor for cyclists, hikers, (long-distance joggers!) and other nonmotorized means of transport.

In 1991, the idea for the "East Coast Greenway" (ECG) was born in Vermont, a concept to create a 2,600-mile series of trails linking cities and towns from Maine to Florida.

The work just begun to convert U.S. 17 along the Dismal Swamp Canal in North Carolina into an 11-mile multi-use trail is another link for the East Coast Greenway. The trail will connect the city of Chesapeake, Virginia to Camden County, in northeastern North Carolina.

A bit to the south of Camden, North Carolina, Bill Lane, a landscape architect for the Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance (RTCA) program, part of the National Park Service, is helping Perquimans County develop a 7.7-mile trail. Mr. Lane told LASN that local communities apply for technical assistance with RTCA for a variety of projects: river protection and recreational area plans; bike trails and greenways. RTCA is a partner in the East Coast Greenway, and he expects the Dismal Swamp Canal trail will connect to the Perquimans trail, which will continue to Edenton and then jog west toward Raleigh, North Carolina.

The East Coast Greenway route will be at least 80 percent off-road and is what ECG refers to as an "urban alternative to the Appalachian Trail, located in the shadows of skyscrapers and within suburban greenspace, but also in surprisingly rural areas that still exist between our east coast cities." The ECG is lead by the East Coast Greenway Alliance (ECGA), governed by a 23-member board with representatives from all but one state from Maine to Florida.

For more information on the East Coast Greenway, visit www.greenway.org

For more information about the RTCA, visit www. nps.gov/rtca


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June 18, 2019, 6:39 pm PDT

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