Recently, TLC received some good news involving our next nature preserve that will open to the public, Walnut Hill, a 405-acre property in Wake and Johnston Counties that is only a 15-minute drive from downtown Raleigh. The Recreational Trails Program (RTP) is a federal grant program that is disbursed through the states, in this case, NC State Parks, and provides money for investments in trail construction and other trail infrastructure. TLC has previously received RTP grants for the Horton Grove, Brumley Forest, and White Pines Nature Preserves. TLC recently received notice that Walnut Hill would receive a $100,000 grant from RTP for trail construction.
Walnut Hill is adjacent to the 300-acre Riverwalk parcel owned by NC State Parks and managed by the Town of Clayton. TLC worked with the Town of Clayton on an innovative plan for a shared trail system that encompasses 10 miles of multi-use trails that span both properties. Thanks to efforts by both TLC and Clayton, RTP funding will enable the first phase of construction of approximately 5 miles of trail on both Walnut Hill and the Riverwalk parcel.
While the RTP grant will only fund construction the first 5 miles of trail, TLC and Clayton are confident of finding additional funding to complete a 10-mile multi-use trail system that will explore both properties. In addition, the trail system will connect to the Neuse River Greenway. Hikers and bikers will be able to hop on the Greenway in Clayton or even in Raleigh and come to Walnut Hill and the Riverwalk to ride or hike the trails. At over 700 acres with 10 miles of trail, the two properties will be one of the largest greenspace destinations along the Neuse River Greenway – something to look forward to.