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Fonta Flora State Trail facts for kids

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Fonta Flora Trail
Established 2015
Length 19 miles (31 km)
Location North Carolina, United States
Designation State Trail (North Carolina)
Trailheads Asheville, Morganton
Use Hiking & Bicycling
Hiking details
Season Year-round
Sights Lake James
Surface Asphalt, Natural
Website https://trails.nc.gov/state-trails/fonta-flora-state-trail

The Fonta Flora State Trail is a unit of the North Carolina state park system in Buncombe, McDowell, and Burke Counties, North Carolina in the United States, and it consists of 90 acres (36 ha) of conservation land and 19 miles (31 km) designated multi-use trail. The State Trail is planned as a continuous route for hikers and cyclists from Asheville to Morganton, with a loop around Lake James. The trail is a collaboration between local governments, local land conservancies the US Forest Service, and the state, with development coordinated by the North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation (NCDPR).

History

In 2004, Duke Energy's Crescent Resources made a deal with NCDPR to sell undeveloped land around Lake James for an expansion of Lake James State Park, and they offered trail easements for the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail on their properties. Two years later, Duke Energy started the process of re-licensing their hydroelectric dams on Lake James with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Public comments during the re-licensing encouraged Duke Energy to develop a loop trail around Lake James, which would connect all communities, recreational, commercial and residential properties, the Overmountain Victory Trail, and local/state parks along the lake.

The loop trail concept was initially called the Lake James Loop Trail, but it was later renamed after the community of Fonta Flora, which was submerged with the creation of Lake James.

On June 15, 2015, the General Assembly of North Carolina established the Fonta Flora State Trail, and directed NCDPR to coordinate its development.

During the master planning process for the state trail, its concept was expanded with connections from Lake James to Asheville and Morganton.

On April 17, 2018, the Foothills Conservancy donated 90 acres (36 ha) of undeveloped land near Old Fort to NCDPR for the trail. The conservancy also obtained trail easements from adjoining property owners for future construction of the trail. The property follows a ridge near Camp Grier, and the Foothills Conservancy will manage it on NCDPR's behalf.

List of designated sections

NCDPR has designated several existing trails as part of the Fonta Flora Trail (from west to east):

Oaks Trail in Black Mountain
Point Lookout Trail in Pisgah National Forest
Fonta Flora State Trail at Greenlee Park in McDowell County
Joseph McDowell Historical Catawba Greenway in Marion
Fonta Flora County Park in Burke County
Catawba River Greenway in Morganton
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