During this fall and early winter beginning in October, APR crews and community volunteers plan to increase hiking, walking, and biking options in Richmond Hill Park to include a 1.5-mile spur trail branching off of the existing Purple Trail. Once completed, the natural surface trail increases the amount of wooded trails in Asheville city limits, spreads trail users over a larger area to reduce congestion on existing trails, and reduces the number of “user-created” trails that are not built with sustainable trail practices such as erosion control.
Although the Asheville area is known nationally for trail systems in federal and state forests and parks, most of these regional hiking and biking trails can be out of reach for some community members due to travel time and distance required and lack of a reliable vehicle. Richmond Hill Park is the only community park in the Asheville Parks & Recreation (APR) system that has existing purpose-built natural surface hiking and biking trails that can be accessed via city streets and from nearby city bus stops.
With increased resident demand for biking and hiking trails within city limits, APR staff explored opportunities to increase well-planned sustainable multi-use trails within the established park network with both land capacity and a proven community partnership to maintain existing trails. A strong existing partnership with Pisgah Area Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association (PSORBA) has led to positive improvements to the Richmond Hill Park trail system. For more on this partnership, read about a previous trail expansion.
- Spring-Summer: Layout, site selection, and sustainability planning
- Winter-Spring: Site preparation, including trail design
- October-January: Construction
Christine Elyseev, Asheville Parks & Recreation, email@example.com