Ecusta rail line. Photo by Real Digital Productions

Campaign Launched to Fund Trail Construction 

The Ecusta rail line connecting Hendersonville and Brevard is officially on its way to becoming a rail trail! On August 12, a subsidiary of Conserving Carolina completed the purchase of the 19-mile unused rail line to create the long-envisioned Ecusta Trail. With the purchase of the land complete, Friends of the Ecusta Trail and Conserving Carolina are now focused on the next big step—raising funds for construction. 

Hunter Marks, president of the Friends of the Ecusta Trail, says, “Our board, and many other community members, have invested countless hours over the last 10+ years to explore and encourage the idea of the Ecusta Trail.  We’re excited to see it become a reality.  We believe it will become a signature feature for our area, and be an economic catalyst for our communities.” 

Chris Burns, current board member and one of the founding members of Friends of the Ecusta Trail, was recently interviewed on the Hendersonville NC Tourism Speaks podcast. Chris spoke about the plans for the construction of the rail-trail and gave a great history on the progress Friends of the Ecusta Trail has made over the past thirteen years to reach this point.

Click on this link to listen! Hendersonville NC Tourism Speaks with Chris Burns

Many adjacent landowners along the rail corridor have notified us that the law firm of Lewis Rice has sent them a package offering to represent them in an Adverse Conversion law suit.  Both the letter in the package and the firm's website state that this law suit will only be brought against the Federal Government to reimburse landowners whose land has been granted as right-of-way to the railroad.  They state that it is not their intention to stop the rail banking process nor to keep a rail-trail from being developed along the corridor.  They also state that they will not bring other entities as parties to the law suit.

This link to the FAQ's on their website gives more information about their intentions.

The Henderson County Partnership For Economic Development recently worked with Creative Economic Development Consulting to update their Industrial recruitment strategy.  As a part of the process, the  SWOT analysis ranked the Ecusta Trail highly as an opportunity for economic development. 

By Bill Moss, Published: August 23, 2019 Hendersonville Lightning

When he was asked if he’d heard that the state had awarded a grant for the proposed Ecusta Trail, Zach Pickett affirmed that he had indeed.

“The owner of the building sent me a text — ‘woohoo!’” Pickett said. “It’s going to hopefully bring in a lot more traffic around here.”