Two cyclists curve down the trail, wheels spinning over the popular dirt path in Old Fort.
To right, Old Fort local Lavita Logan stands proudly in the midst of a community she’s helped rebuild. Raised on Cemetery Street, Logan has seen Old Fort experience economic turmoil and bounce back.
G5’s vision is led by Jason McDougald.
Future trails start coming together at a work weekend held by the Old Fort nonprofit, G5 Trail Collective, in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service.
Lisa Jennings, Recreation and Trail Programs Manager, speaks at the event.
The arrowhead statue memorialzes Davidson's fort and the brutalization of Native Americans.
The mural depicts the 1955 attempt to enroll Black students in a segregated school in Old Fort.
On the railroad, working conditions were brutal, and at least 139 Black men and women perished along the way.
Stephanie Swepson-Twitty (above) recounts her experiences growing up in Old Fort. She watched firsthand as the effects of systemic racism and economic depression took hold. Currently, she is the President and CEO of the Eagle Market Streets Development Corporation.
The Old Fort Ride House.
Tourism based in outdoor recreation is growing across Western North Carolina, and Old Fort is no exception. With trail riding an obvious front runner, fishing and hiking don’t trail far behind.
Last year, through the combined efforts of various organizations, Old Fort hosted its first “Outdoors for All” summit with one goal in mind: increasing equity among all in outdoor spaces. Participants gathered to discuss problems and solutions to outdoor exclusion.
Although the process of carving trails will take time, the first section is set to be completed this summer.
After a community-wide groundbreaking in January of this year, the trail project is well underway.
A map of the planned trails shows the scope of the undertaking.
“Trails are great. Tourism and economic development are great, but we really want to grow Old Fort's economy in a way that doesn't displace the folks that have been here for a long time. We want to develop the town from within." — Jason McDougald