Trails & Greenways
CCCRA's Trails and Greenways program develops and promote a county-wide system of trails and greenways that encourage tourism while protecting the natural environment. The principal focus to-date has been developing and expanding the 15-mile biking/hiking trails in the Jackrabbit Mountain Trail System (JMTS), in cooperation and collaboration with the USFS and The Southern Appalachian Bicycle Association (SABA). In addition to the trail infrastructure, there is a parking lot, bike-maintenance and bike-wash stations, information board, covered bridge and picnic area.
Close to 20 miles of machine-constructed singletrack high-quality mountain bike and hiking trails make up the JMTS. Twelve interconnected trails based on a stacked-loop design range from 0.7 to 4.6 miles and are well-marked. Many of the trails border Lake Chatuge, while others meander through the woods or ridge-top. These trails are specifically designed to appeal to all skill levels, beginner to advanced. The latest two trails, affectionately known as "Smackass Ridge" and "Jumping Jack Flash" because of their climbing, rock-croppings, banked turns, jumps and drops, were opened April 1, 2021. They were made possible by a NC Parks Recreational Trails Program grant and a 20% match in donations and volunteer time from the partners.
Trails are well-marked and botanical identification markers make this a great place for family fun and learning.
Help Us Build a Picnic Shelter at Jackrabbit
To celebrate the “Year of the Trail”, and the 20th anniversary of their collaboration, CCCRA & SABA are kicking off a campaign to fund the picnic shelter. The shelter, to be located at the JRTS trailhead – a no-fee area enjoyed by residents and visitors, will serve as a rest spot for bikers and hikers, an outdoor classroom for learning, a venue for church and school outings, deliver shade for families seeking outdoor recreation, and provide protection when the weather turns foul. We've started a GoFundMe campaign to raise $50,000 seed money towards the estimated cost of $120 thousand.
The Building Outdoor Communities program, a part of the MADE X MTNS WNC initiative, aims to support communities in developing, prioritizing, and implementing their outdoor infrastructure and economy goals to capitalize on their extraordinary outdoors. in Clay County, CCCRA, Historic Hayesville Inc. and the Clay County Chamber of Commerce are jointly leading the local initiative known as Hayesville Moves. The goal is to build an integrated network of walking, hiking, biking and equestrian trails to promote a healthy lifestyle and benefit regional economies in western North Carolina. Come join us in the process!