O'Brien Watershed Trail Project
SORBA Tri-Cities, in partnership with the town of Erwin and Unicoi County, is in the process of funding the construction of nearly 11 miles of mountain bike-specific and shared-use trails in the town of Erwin. The trail system was developed by IMBA with assistance from several local partners and will include trails for riders of all abilities.
Erwin is a town of 6,000 people with little to no available mountain biking opportunities but has a rich history of outdoor recreation. The town is a gateway to the Nolichucky River, Cherokee National Forest, Erwin Linear Trail and Appalachian Trail. The new trail system will provide kids easy access to the outdoors, with the school complex less than half a mile away, and will serve the Little Bellas kids’ riding program and NICA middle- and high-school teams. The trailhead is a mile from the heart of downtown Erwin, providing a quick connection from the trails to business and residential areas.
This project ties to a larger regional vision of connecting towns around the Tri-Cities region with long-distance backcountry shared-use routes. Erwin plays a key role in this vision as a gateway into the Cherokee National Forest.
Partners in support of this project include Friends of O’Brien Watershed, the Northeast Tennessee Regional Economic Partnership, the town of Erwin, Unicoi County, Erwin Fiber, TVA Economic Development council, Tennessee Department of Health, TVA Recreation Management, and SORBA Tri-Cities. The project has already been awarded a generous grant by the Appalachian Regional Commission, and the Dig In funds will help the community meet its commitment to match the grant.
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