North Carolina Announces Year of the Trail

Last Updated on December 28, 2022 10:25 am

The Great Trails State Coalition announces the launch of the 2023 North Carolina Year of the Trail campaign. NC Year of the Trail will celebrate and draw attention to North Carolina’s vast network of trails, greenways, and blueways. These trails showcase our state’s diverse landscapes – from grand mountain vistas to quiet rivers, vibrant urban greenways, coastal forests, and the rolling hills of the Piedmont. North Carolina Year of the Trail is the largest statewide celebration of trails and outdoor recreation in state history and will firmly establish North Carolina as “The Great Trails State.”

In 2021, North Carolina’s General Assembly passed a bill designating 2023 as NC Year of the Trail. This effort was led by Representative Hugh Blackwell/Burke County and the Great Trails State Coalition.

The bill makes law recognizing and celebrating North Carolina’s comprehensive network of public trails and greenways constructed and managed by local, State, and federal agencies and nonprofit partners. Trails and greenways are a vital part of community infrastructure, providing significant health, economic, and transportation benefits, and are the cornerstone of North Carolina’s $11.8 billion outdoor recreation industry.

Working collaboratively with NC State Parks, the NC Department of Transportation, and other partners across the state, the Great Trails State Coalition has developed an informative and engaging campaign that will reach all of North Carolina through multiple communication channels, including social media, advertising, events, and newsletters, delivering content and stories about the positive impacts of trails in communities across the state. The campaign aims to inspire people of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds to use trails, boost outdoor recreation tourism, advance inclusion and diversity on trails, promote safe and responsible use of trails, and recognize the contributions of volunteers in building and maintaining trails.

The campaign kicks off on January 1st with “First Day Outdoors” – an invitation for everyone to find a trail to walk, run, hike, bike, paddle, or ride. Visit a State Park for a First Day Hike or explore one of the countless trails across North Carolina. 

During 2023, the Great Trails State Coalition will share videos and content telling stories about trails and people in North Carolina. We will provide examples of how trails are impacting local communities and changing lives for the better, along with how trails are built and how to get more trails where you live. 

Look for events in every county, including special events in State Parks, guided trail experiences, clean-ups, celebrations, and more. Through our social channels and on our website, it will be easy, fun, and informative to follow along with everything happening and stay engaged.

For more information, visit and follow us on social media @greattrailsnc – help spread the word about Year of the Trail!

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