2.5 miles of natural hiking trails dedicated Monday

Jun. 11, 2013 @ 05:27 AM

More than 45 outdoor enthusiasts gathered Monday afternoon at the trail head of 2.5 miles of a new hiking area near Isothermal Community College.

The Rutherford Outdoor Coalition (ROC), through a partnership with ICC and Rutherford County, have developed a trail system that will encompass the ICC property and county-owned property between the college and Daniel Road.

Coalition President Jerry Stensland welcomed the group to the dedication of the new trail and said the project became a reality due to the efforts of several Rutherford Outdoor Coalition members, boy scouts, East Rutherford high school students and other hikers from the county.

“This is a joint effort,” said Stensland.

Fred Matthews and John Maddry, both outdoor coalition enthusiasts, worked for more than five months preparing the area for the trail building by Eagle Scout Matthew Robinson and East Rutherford senior Kyle Clark.

Matthews and Maddry cleared the trees and brush while Robinson built the trail as his Eagle Scout project with Troop 129 in Spindale. 

Clark chose the trails as his senior project and will continue working to maintain the trail.

The 2.5 miles of trail are the first of six miles of natural trails to be built in the center of Rutherford County and are available for anyone to enjoy. 

The next trails will cross the campus and go west of the college, Stensland said.

He thanked Rutherford County Commissioners and ICC for allowing the development of the trails. 

“Every bit of the work here has been done by volunteers,” Stensland said.

Loyce Broughton of Union Mills raised $300 by running in her first 10k last year in Lake Lure. The money was used for trail tools.