WHITE LAKE, N.C. (WECT) - A project years in the making is finally finished right in time for the Water Festival.
“That is our first leg of the multi-purpose trail. The hope is that we will eventually connect all the way around the lake. We plan on taking it all the way down Hwy 53 to connect up the sidewalks basically where Camp Clearwater is and taking it around 701 until we can get to the main commercial area,” said White Lake Mayor Goldston Womble.
The White Lake multi-use trail was completed ahead of schedule last week.
“Officially finished a few days ago. They’re still doing a little bit of touch up work with it but they are actually just a little bit ahead of schedule. The official opening date was supposed to be May the 15th, we were hoping to get it open before Water Festival weekend, which we did,” Womble said.
The first phase connects the Waterford and Turtle Cove subdivisions, and gives people a place to walk, run, bike, or exercise away from the busy highways.
“We’ve discussed this for a good number of years. We started out at the Lake by putting in some sidewalks in what I consider to be the main commercial or business district at the lake and we were able to get some grant funding and other funds for putting in a substantial amount of sidewalk. And once we got that done our goal was to try to continue to go all the way around White Lake. Of course, when you get out of the business district, putting in sidewalks. You really can’t do that on 701 and 53 so we decided we wanted to do a multi-purpose trial,” Womble said.
In addition to giving residents and tourists a safe place to walk, run, and bike away from the busy highways, Womble said he hopes it draws more athletes to the area, too.
“We also have now at White Lake a substantial number of triathlons and they are held there on a regular basis so the folks with the triathlons have been very excited that we have done this because now their runners can run most of the runs that they have without having to get onto the highway and we hope that will help attract other people and hopefully at some point this will extend all the way around the lake so we can make things more easily accessible for folks,” he said.
Womble said the town hopes to eventually create a path around the entire lake, and are working to make that happen.
“We are at this time continuing to pursue additional grant applications. We got close to $6,000 in grants for doing the section of the trial that we just did. It’s about a mile and a half. We are applying now for additional grant funds and if we get that we will continue to go down 701 to see how far we can get,” he said.