Greenway enthusiasts of all ages use the trails at Bond Park in Cary, N.C. Several greenways, part of the burgeoning trail network in the Triangle area, converge at the park.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much of the East Coast Greenway is off road? Thirty-two percent of the Greenway is now on firm-surface trails protected from motorized traffic. We move on-road segments to protected trail as they are constructed. To see where trails are complete, visit our Greenway map

Can I travel the East Coast Greenway today? Yes! Join the millions who bike commute to work, run with friends, and stroll with family on local Greenway segments. Because the majority of the route is still on roads, a trip along the entire route is only appropriate for experienced cyclists. Pedestrians, skaters, equestrians, wheelchair users, and inexperienced or young cyclists should remain on the off-road sections of the route. 

How can I bring the Greenway through my community? Because the Greenway connects a network of locally owned and managed trails, volunteers at the local level do some of the most important work to create the East Coast Greenway. Spreading the word in your town, advocating for the Greenway with local officials, distributing information, and speaking at public meetings are all great ways to get involved. 

How does the Greenway benefit people and communities? Multi-use trails like the East Coast Greenway are an integral part of local transportation systems. They provide free recreational opportunities for all ages, encourage healthier lifestyles, and bolster local economic development.

How can my organization work with the East Coast Greenway Alliance? We partner with many organizations, agencies, and businesses at the local, state, and national level. Drop us a line

What does the East Coast Greenway Alliance do? The Alliance promotes the vision of the Greenway and provides an advocacy network grounded in our volunteer state committees. We work through partnerships with national, state, and local government agencies, trail organizations, engineering firms, civic organizations, and scores of other groups that support the vision of a 3,000-mile connected route. Many trails already existed when the Greenway was launched in 1991, and many others have been initiated by grassroots groups. We work especially hard to establish trails in gap areas where connections are needed — bridges and otherwise.

How is the Greenway being built, and how much does it cost? The ECG is being built by linking together locally owned and managed trails into a continuous route. The ECGA works with local and state agencies and organizations to promote the vision of a linked route, to provide coordination between jurisdictions, and to offer strategic assistance to states, counties, and municipalities building the trail. A rough cost estimate is $1 million per mile to construct the Greenway, but costs can vary widely depending on terrain and the need for bridges or other special fixtures.

Why does it take so long to complete the Greenway? It's a multi-step process beginning with defining the route, especially the roughly 700 miles of gap that still exist. Often the land required to close a gap is in private control, as in an abandoned rail corridor, for example. Our state committees, state and municipal agencies, land trust organizations, and nonprofits help facilitate purchasing land rights. Then state or local Departments of Transportation may contract with private firms for planning, design, and construction.  If federal funds are being used, we have to wait for the budgeting cycle for federal transportation funding. Finally, state transportation departments typically handle the construction work, often bidding out to private firms. From route identification to ribbon-cutting the average timeframe is 10 years.  

How can I stay up-to-date on what’s happening? The best way to stay informed is to subscribe to, and read, On the Greenway, our monthly e-newsletter (see sign-up button below). We're also sharing stories and news on social media — especially Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

What specifications are required for a trail to meet East Coast Greenway standards? The trail surface must accommodate many types of users, including wheelchairs and touring bicycles. A hard surface such as asphalt or pavement, or a firm surface such as stone dust, qualifies. We also require minimum greenway widths of 10 to 12 feet and grades of less than 5 percent. The trail must be protected from motorized vehicles. 

Who can use the Greenway? Any non-motorized user can enjoy the East Coast Greenway! Experienced cyclists can travel the entire route. Pedestrians, runners, less experienced cyclists, and wheelchair users (including motorized wheelchairs) can travel on all trails and quiet roads. Limited portions, depending on trail surfaces and local regulations, are currently open to equestrians, skaters, and others. 

If the Greenway is for non-motorized traffic, can I ride my electric bike on it? We specified "non-motorized" before the introduction of  e-bikes. The focus was on prohibiting internal combustion engines — no motorcycles, etc. Riding an e-bike on the Greenway is generally acceptable as long as cyclists don't speed and follow all the customary rules of trail etiquette such as passing others safely, etc. States and municipalities are working on e-bike regulations; we default to local rules.

Who owns and manage the Greenway? All trails are owned and managed by agencies at the state and local levels. The East Coast Greenway Alliance provides signage, maps, cue sheets, and promotion of the route.

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