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The Thread to Celebrate Its Fifth Anniversary and 100th Mile of Open Trail

An Event is Planned to Unveil a Unique 100th Mile Marker, Host Nature Hikes and Announce a Facebook Photo Contest

The Carolina Thread Trail (The Thread), a 15-county, two-state initiative to connect our region with a network of trails and natural areas, is celebrating its fifth anniversary and marking its 100th mile of trail open to the public.

 These milestones will be commemorated at an event on Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012, from 10-11 a.m., at the West Branch Nature Preserve Trail located in Davidson. At the event, The Thread will unveil a 100th mile marker. Following the unveiling, The Thread will announce a social media photo contest (see below), and then host nature hikes to be led by Dr. Mark Stanback and Dr. David Grant of Davidson College.

This event is free and open to the public. Directional signs will be used starting at the intersection of East Rocky River Road and Shearer Road to direct the public to the event; the nearest street address to the event/trail entrance is 18229 Shearer Road in Davidson.

The Carolina Thread Trail, commonly known as The Thread, was publicly announced five years ago on Nov. 9, 2007. Launched from a community process lead by the Foundation For The Carolinas to identify our area’s most pressing environmental need, The Thread aspires to connect a 15-county region – Anson, Cabarrus, Catawba, Cleveland, Gaston, Iredell,  Lincoln, Mecklenburg, Rowan, Stanly and Union counties within North Carolina and Cherokee, Chester, Lancaster and York counties in South Carolina – with a network of hundreds of miles of trails linking more than two million people to regional destinations, parks, towns, neighborhoods and conservation corridors. Initial startup funding for The Thread came from Foundation For The Carolinas, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the C. D. Spangler Foundation, the Turner Family Foundation, Bank of America, Duke Energy and Wells Fargo.

“Five years ago, our region’s leaders had a vision to create a connected trail system to make our corner of the world a healthier, greener, and more attractive place to live, work and explore. Today that vision is becoming a reality mile by mile,” said Ann Browning, project director for The Thread. “Our fifth anniversary and 100thmile are significant milestones that we are celebrating with our trail users, volunteers, government leaders and corporate partners – all of which have made significant contributions to support and advance The Thread.”

Over the past five years, there has been great progress advancing the Carolina Thread Trail. With a Governing Board of regional philanthropic and business leaders and Catawba Lands Conservancy serving as the lead agency, thousands of community leaders and citizens have been engaged to develop master plans and implement segments of The Thread.  To date:

  • 14 counties have completed master plans identifying over 1400 miles of planned and existing trails and projects across the region are being implemented along priority corridors
  • $3 million in grants from private funders have been awarded to plan and build trails
  • 1,300 acres of preserved land that will house the trail has been permanently protected thanks in large to funding from North Carolina’s Clean Water Management Trust Fund
  • 500 volunteers, led by professionally trained Trail Masters, have logged 1,912 volunteer hours towards trail building and maintenance in the past two years
  • An interactive map was recently launched identifying the 59 trails that are currently open to public (see

Trails and greenways benefit the region’s communities in many ways. A recent survey by the National Association of Realtors cited walking and biking trails as the top amenity desired by homebuyers. Trails and greenways provide easier access to exercise and recreation, attract commerce along the trail routes, offer alternative transportation options, give our children access to the outdoors and nature, protect wildlife habitats, and provide river and stream buffers to filter our water and manage storm water runoff.

The Thread to Announce Facebook Photo Contest  
Also on Nov. 17, The Thread will announce a photo contest that will encourage trail users to take photos and share their outdoor adventures on The Thread via Facebook.  From Nov. 17 to Dec. 10, Facebook users will be able to post photos and vote for their favorite trail picture out on The Thread.

The photos with the most likes (or votes) will win prizes, with one grand prize awarded to the most liked photo. More information about the contest will be available on The Thread’s Facebook page beginning on Nov. 17 at or on the website,