In August, the board of the Orange Water and Sewer Authority (OWASA) voted to allow the Mountains to Sea Trail to be built along its Cane Creek Reservoir.

As part of that decision, OWASA outlined conditions to guide planning and construction of the trail so that it protects water quality, minimizes risk, and respects the privacy of neighboring land owners.

This vote was a huge step forward for the part of the Mountains to Sea Trail that will link Saxapahaw to Hillsborough on its 1,150 mile route from the Great Smoky Mountains to the Outer Banks.  Friends of the Mountains to Sea Trail worked with OWASA and Orange County to get to this point.  The OWASA staff did impressive work to draft the conditions and the OWASA board listened carefully and responded to almost 100 written and in-person comments.

Orange County has now been charged with developing a trail route that meets the conditions that are laid out by OWASA and Mountains to Sea Trail friends and volunteers will participate as needed.

They are places where the land owned by OWASA are very narrow and we will need help from neighboring land owners willing to allow the trail to cross their land.  We will also need to identify trail heads for public access.

As Executive Director of Friends of the Mountains to Sea Trail, I found the most wonderful part of this experience to be hearing people talk about what the trail would mean to them.  It reaffirms to me how much this narrow pathway across North Carolina matters.  It represents all of the best of North Carolina.

— Kate Dixon, Executive Director: Friends of the Mountains to Sea Trail


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