From Donation to Trail
Since its beginning, the Haw River Trail has relied on the generosity and cooperation of willing landowners- and its future depends on the continued involvement and support of those who own property along the river. Here we share the stories of several private and commercial landowners who have donated land or trail easements that are now part of the Haw River Trail or will house future sections of trail. This is only a small sample of the landowners who have been involved in the Haw River Trail. Through their stories, we hope to share a glimpse of the real value of contributing property to the Trail and inspire others to consider sharing their land with the community. We are grateful to all of the landowners who have been a part of making this trail a reality.
In Spring 2007, George and Jerrie Nall donated 2 acres of riverside property in memory of their son, Steven Keith Nall, for use as a paddle access and educational focal point of the Haw River Trail. Thanks to their generosity, Alamance County residents and visitors to the historic Glencoe Mill Village can learn about conservation and recreation opportunities on the Haw River while enjoying the river first hand.
Challenge Golf Course/Red Slide Park
We’ve shared several stories of generous private land donors. We are lucky also to have received donations and partnerships from local businesses. In 2008 when the Challenge Golf Course changed ownership, the new owner hoped to revitalize the business with new housing, a clubhouse and pool, and availability of hiking trails to the new neighborhood. Understanding the draw of trail access for prospective residents interested in health, outdoors, and community, Challenge chose to donate land to the Haw River Trail. The land donated by the Course houses a stretch of trail helping to connect Red Slide Park in the town of Haw to Valley Road in Graham just below I-40.
After land was donated to Alamance Recreation and Parks from Waste Industries in 2014, discussions took place about how to incorporate land at the tip of the island into the park. The Clore family donated trail easement for the Haw River Trail on land located at the tip of the Saxapahaw Island Park in 2016 for recreational, educational, and open space purposes. The use of the Clore’s land extended the Haw River Trail/Mountains to Sea Trail system by an extra mile of trail. The generosity of the Clores allows the public to enjoy extra space for recreation, and also a beautiful view of the Haw River from the southernmost point of the island.
The Nelson family is on the leading edge of the natural food movement. Location in Saxapahaw, the family acquired farmland to provide organic foods such as poultry, beef, eggs, meat, and produce. Suzanne Nelson of Haw River Ranch and her family saw the Haw River Trail as a natural fit for engaging the community and making their farm accessible to the public. In 2015, they donated property located river left between Saxapahaw Mill Race Paddle Access and the Union Bridge Paddle Access. The property they donated is now home to a beautiful new steel bridge that extends the Saxapahaw section of Haw River Trail to the south. The Nelson Family’s donation was a key piece in continuing the trail through this section.