Your new favorite trail is waiting.
We can help
you find it.
We believe in the power
of connecting outdoors.
The 15 counties surrounding the Triangle region of North Carolina are home to a network of beautiful greenways. These trails not only connect the communities of these 15 counties, they also create a welcome area for visitors and residents to connect with each other and the outdoors.
What is the Triangle Trails Initiative?
The Triangle Trails Initiative (also known as Triangle Trails) is a collaboration between government, business, anchor institutions and civic leaders to make the Research Triangle Region a national leader in greenways and trails. This regional organization works on behalf of the collective interests of member counties, their municipal governments, businesses, non-profits and citizens to promote the regional greenway system. Fifteen counties have adopted Resolutions of Support for the Initiative. The Initiative will continue to expand this public-private partnership over time.
An ad-hoc group of Triangle region greenway and trail enthusiasts, led by then Wake County Commissioner Sig Hutchinson, Iona Thomas of McAdams and John Hodges-Copple of the Triangle J Council of Governments, begin meeting to discuss the formation of a regional greenway organization.
In the spring 2018, the ad-hoc group asks Chuck Flink, FASLA, owner of Greenways Incorporated, based in Durham, to assist in launching Triangle Trails. Flink was instrumental in establishing the Carolina Thread Trail, Charlotte/Mecklenburg’s 15-county regional greenway system. Flink and Hutchinson begin a series of meetings with the A.J. Fletcher Foundation to enlist financial support for the project. Throughout the remainder of 2018, Flink conducts a series of meetings with the ad-hoc group to draft an organizational framework for Triangle Trails.
Flink and Hutchinson meet with Dennis Markatos-Soriano, Executive Director of the East Coast Greenway Alliance to discuss a partnership in which Triangle Trails would become a program of the Alliance. The ECGA agrees to the proposal. In September 2018, Triangle Trails and ECGA submit a funding application to the A.J. Fletcher Foundation of Raleigh, seeking financial support. The funding award is made in October 2018.
Triangle Trails establishes an Advisory Board to assist in achieving its goals and objectives. Sig Hutchinson agrees to serve as Chair of the Advisory Board. Simultaneously, Triangle Trails develops a three-year work program to launch the initiative. This includes extensive outreach to counties, cities, and towns, and to a wide range of community partners. Dozens of informational meetings are held throughout 2019 to generate support for the regional greenway organization, its goals and purpose.
In October, Triangle Trails begins assisting Harnett County with the preparation and adoption of its first county-wide greenway master plan.
Triangle Trails prepares a map of regional greenway corridors. To accomplish this work, Triangle Trails, as part of the North Carolina Great Trails State Coalition, works in partnership with the N.C. Department of Transportation. NCDOT undertakes greenway corridor mapping for all 100 North Carolina counties. Triangle Trails makes use of the results from the statewide planning to generate a regional greenway map for the Triangle region.
Beginning in January 2020, Chuck Flink and Sig Hutchinson make personal appearances at county commission meetings in 14 separate counties. The purpose of attending the county commission meetings was to ask for a letter of endorsement and support for Triangle Trails. At the close of 2020, twelve counties provided unanimous letters of endorsement and support, including Chatham, Durham, Franklin, Harnett, Granville, Johnston, Lee, Orange, Person, Vance, Wake and Warren.
Triangle Trails is successful in raising private financial support, beginning with a three-year financial commitment from the Research Triangle Foundation of North Carolina. Other financial support came from VisitRaleighNC and Martin Marietta Corporation.
Triangle Trails continued providing technical support to the Harnett County Board of Commissioners as they completed and adopted their greenway master plan. Triangle Trails provided similar assistance to Johnston County.
Triangle Trails continued to update the regional greenway corridors map, using input from the Great Trails State master plan and by consulting with partners in all 15 counties.
In February 2021, the Cumberland County Board of Commissioners unanimously supported the efforts of Triangle Trails. In March, Moore County followed suit. In November 2021, Nash County became the 15th County to provide a letter of support.
The Triangle Trails team spent much of the year strengthening the core of the organization. We receive additional financial support from from the Wells Fargo Foundation, Affordable Communities, LLC, and UNC Health.
A summer Advisory Board meeting is organized, we invited a wide range of our urban partners to join us for a conversation about connecting with diverse communities across the region. In the fall we invited the chair of each county commission and the county manager to join us for a convening at NC State University. Each county provided an update on their greenway planning and development progress.
With a solid organizational framework established, Triangle Trails turns its attention to creating a platform to communicate and connect residents with regional outdoor resources – one of the primary reasons for our founding. With additional financial support from Duke Raleigh Hospital and WakeMed, Trianlge Trails builds our web site and begins testing a user-friendly Triangle Trailblazer App.
The Triangle Trailblazer App is a program that is designed to engage residents and encourage all of us to get outdoors and explore the extensive regional greenway network. The App will encourage residents to explore fifteen signature greenways, and as part that exploration eat, drink and shop at businesses in the communities that host these greenways.
Wake County Commissioner
TTI Advisory Board Chair
President, Raleigh Visitors
and Convention Bureau
President, East Division
East Coast Greenway
Assistant County Manager
President, Research Triangle Foundation
Urban Program Director
The Conservation Fund
Town of Morrisville
CEO, Affordable Communities
Assistant County Manager
AICP, Vice President,
Strategy & Public Client Dev.
FASLA, LEED AP
CEO, JDavis Architects
An Advisory Board has been established and is comprised of individuals who understand and share the passion and vision for a regional network of greenways and trails. The purpose of the Advisory Board is to guide the establishment of the Initiative and assist in fiduciary obligations of the organization. The TTI Advisory Board is comprised of local government and business leaders.
East Coast Greenways
The East Coast Greenway connects 15 states and 450 cities and towns for 3,000 miles from Maine to Florida. We are fostering a safe walking and biking route through the country’s most populated corridor.