Thursday, October 31, 2013

Hiking/biking Jacksonville NC's Rails-to-Trails Greenway

Convo of MST mavens on Northeast Creek as viewed from Jacksonville's Rails-to-Trails Greenway

6.5 miles of hiker-biker-exclusive greenway through the bustling metropolis of Jacksonville, NC.  Kudos to this progressive city for making this happen.  Just look at the photos.  Much of this route is peaceful and serene, despite the urban setting.

After crossing the New River on a bridge with dedicated sidewalk,

the trail parallels Military Highway, passing plenty of hiker-friendly pit stops then turns right to parallel Bell Fork Road

in a peaceful and secluded right-of-way.

Then there's an elaborate and costly trail overpass of the major highway that is NC 24,

and the trail parallels that highway with Camp Lejeune Marine Core Military Base just across a chain link fence on the south side.

The publicly available trail ends at Camp Lejeune's main gate.

From there the MST uses the ultra-wide grassy shoulders of the divided highway NC 24 for just under a mile before plunging into a major shopping center and turning onto Piney Branch Road, then after another mile onto the relatively lightly traveled Rocky Run Rd.

Few cities of this size offer such a comprehensive through-trail.  It's an example of urban diversity that the MST thru-hiker is sure to appreciate.

Here's the map of the route, with link to all the photos worthy of a second look:

Biking Jacksonville's Rails-to-Trails Greenway at EveryTrail
EveryTrail - Find the best Hiking in North Carolina

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