A project between North and South Carolina that has been in the works for many years will culminate in a celebration this Saturday, April 25. A new trail between Crowders Mountain Park in North Carolina and Kings Mountain Park in the Upstate will officially open at a dedication ceremony scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday morning.
The new Ridgeline trail is 8.5 miles long beginning in the Tar Heel state and ending in South Carolina. It is innovative because trails seldom, if ever, cross state lines.
South Carolina State Parks Spokesman, Marion Edmonds, says the completion of this project is a model of cooperation. “Usually, they (park trails) end at state lines because of bureaucracy more than anything else,” said Edmonds.
“You have to work with your state governments, your local governments–you have federal and state grants that have to be done for recreational purposes–so to get everybody together and make sure everybody is in sync on this, really required the two states to sit down and work with the feds, and really, work on it for years and years.”
Edmonds is encouraged by the project and expects more joint ventures in the future. “Well, we like to think it represents an opportunity for North Carolina and South Carolina to sort of get our feet wet working with each other because we share a lot of boundary,” he said, “and lot of important recreational areas as we move west in North Carolina and South Carolina so hopefully this will get us familiar with how the procedures can work. This will be just the first of several opportunities to work together.”
Edmonds says the trail also covers a historic part of both states.
“The area, of course this trail is going to be covering relates to the American Revolution and the battle at King’s Mountain. Part of the South Carolina trail involves areas that were part of the civilian conservation corps. That goes back to the Great Depression. And really, if you want to take it all the way back, the boundary line between the two took almost 70 years back in the 1700s to settle by the London Board of Trade as to where the North and South Carolina boundary would be.”
Park supporters have been invited to the event which will be held near North Carolina’s new Boulders Access contact station on Van Dyke Road between the parks.