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North Carolina

Tour rural communities, thriving cities of the Research Triangle, and Wilmington and other coastal towns. A complementary route covers even more coastline.

Total Miles, Spine Route

372

Miles of Protected Greenway

93

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Click the map for an interactive version

Current Progress

On its way through central and eastern North Carolina, the East Coast Greenway showcases the state’s natural features and cultural diversity. From rolling hills of pine, oak, and hickory forests to farmlands, thriving cities, cypress swamps, and coastal beaches, travelers will experience much of the Tar Heel State’s best.

The current spine route passes through the Research Triangle cities of Durham and Raleigh on extensive greenway trails, then touches the Sandhills and enters Fayetteville. It runs across the coastal plain along the Cape Fear River and explores the port city of Wilmington.

In addition to this main route, the Historic Coastal Route extends south from Virginia on the Dismal Swamp Canal Trail and follows the North Carolina coast more closely, linking Greenville and Jacksonville before heading into Wilmington to join the spine route. 

North Carolina Contacts

Impact of East Coast Greenway in NC's Triangle region

In 2017, the East Coast Greenway Alliance commissioned a study to put numbers on what we know to be true: Greenways are good for economic growth. Prepared by Alta Planning + Design and sponsored by GSK, the report finds that the East Coast Greenway generates $90 million in total benefits annually for the Triangle region, from gains in health and the environment to transportation and access benefits, economic gains, and increased property values.

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Designated Trails in North Carolina

Mileage counts reflect the portion of each trail that is part of East Coast Greenway.

  • Ellerbee Creek Trail, Durham; 1.5 mi

  • South Ellerbee Creek Trail, Durham; 1.5 mi

  • Downtown Trail, Durham; 1.3 mi

  • American Tobacco Trail, Durham, Chatham, & Wake Counties; 17.5 mi

  • Black Creek Greenway and White Oak Greenway, Cary; 12.75 mi

  • Umstead State Park Trail, Wake Co.; 5.3 mi

  • Reedy Creek Greenway, Raleigh; 4.7 mi

  • Walnut Creek Trail, Raleigh; 4.5 mi

  • Rocky Branch Trail, Raleigh; 1.2 mi

  • Pullen Park Trail, Raleigh, 0.35 mi

  • Little Rock Trail, Raleigh, 1 mi

  • Lower Walnut Creek Trail, 2.7 mi

  • Chavis Way sidepath, Raleigh; 0.3 mi

  • Central Raleigh Trail, Raleigh; 0.58 mi

  • Neuse River Trail, Raleigh-Clayton: 13 mi

  • Buffalo Creek Greenway, Smithfield NC; 2.9 mi

  • Dunn-Erwin Trail, Dunn-Erwin; 5.3 mi

  • Cape Fear River Trail, Fayetteville; 4.1 mi

  • Jacksonville Rail-Trail, Jacksonville; 2.6 mi

  • Greenfield Lake Path, Wilmington; 1.75 mi

  • The Wilmington Riverwalk, Wilmington; 0.8 mi

  • Cross-City Greenway, Wilmington; 6.75 mi

  • Dismal Swamp Canal Trail, South Mills; 3 mi

  • Carolina Beach Greenway, Carolina Beach; 0.9 mi

  • North Carolina Aquarium at Ft. Fisher Trail, Kure Beach; 0.4 mi

  • Southport-Ft. Fisher Ferry, south of Wilmington; 4 mi

  • Emerald Path, Emerald Isle; 8.7 mi

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Triangle Bikeworks, a grantee based in the Triangle region of North Carolina, provides after-school and summer cycling programs to empower and enrich youth of color.

News and features of interest

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October 9, 2018

BUILDing capital: Trip to D.C. spotlights Greenway BUILD portfolio

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October 9, 2018

Executive director's letter: The importance of federal investment

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July 30, 2018

Going the distance

Our Partners in North Carolina

Partners include but are not limited to:

Join the Greenway!

Your support helps to develop this ambitious, 3,000-mile route, Canada to Key West. Your membership gift builds more protected miles that we can all enjoy, today and for generations to come.