Fundraising for two-mile Peak Mountain Trail in Seven Devils Continues

In a town council meeting on Feb. 13, the town of Seven Devils authorized grant applications for the Recreation Trails Program and the Parks and Recreation Trust Fund for the new Peak Mountain Trail on land owned by BRC.

“The town council has great vision for creating and preserving more green areas in and around the town of Seven Devils,” said Debbie Powers, town manager.

RTP Grants require a 25 percent commitment by the applying community, so with the $20,000 approved by Seven Devils, the maximum the town could receive from the grant is $80,000.

The PARTF grant requires a 50 percent match, which the town and RTP grant would cover. 

“This goes along with our Parks and Recreation Master Plan,” noted town clerk Hillary Gropp.

The town worked with Blue Ridge Conservancy — who acquired 295 acres on Peak Mountain since 2016 thanks to generous donations from Fred and Alice Stanback — to develop the plan for the proposed trail and apply for the grants.

“Blue Ridge Conservancy is working in partnership with the town of Seven Devils to make this trail a reality,” said Nikki Robinson of Blue Ridge Conservancy. “Part of Blue Ridge Conservancy’s mission is to create and protect recreational opportunities in the High Country for residents and visitors.”

The approved resolutions in applying for the grant notes “the town of Seven Devils endeavors to create and preserve natural resources for the enjoyment of citizens for future generations.”

If the grants are approved, construction would begin in 2019 and take many months, according to Gropp. The trail, which would be over two miles in length, would go from Otter Falls Park to the top of Peak Mountain, crossing the Watauga/Avery county line. According to Blue Ridge Conservancy, the land varies from 3,680 to 4,760 feet, is steep in several areas and is entirely forested, dominated by mixed hardwoods.

Nikki Robinson