Two greenway updates in Asheville, NC


Photo courtesy of the City of Asheville

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Good news for greenways. Asheville plans to expand its greenway system in 2021. Two new additions to the system are in the works – the Swannanoa River Greenway and the Nasty Branch Greenway (formerly known as the Town Branch Greenway more on the name below).


Nasty Branch Greenway | Map courtesy of the City of Asheville

Nasty Branch Greenway

Total length: 3/4 mile

Location: Asheville’s Southside neighborhood. Begins at the Grant Southside Center on Depot + Livingston St. and ends at Phifer St. near the intersection of McDowell St. and Southside Ave.

Timeframe: Construction should begin in the spring.

DYK: The greenway will feature interpretative signage about the devastating effects of urban renewal in the 1960s and ‘70s, which resulted in the razing of significant portions of this historically African-American community. The name “Nasty Branch” referred to the creek that flowed through the neighborhood, which was then (and still is) cited as a sanitation hazard but also provided important community connection in the neighborhood.


A section of the Swannanoa River Greenway | Map courtesy of the City of Asheville

Swannanoa River Greenway

Phase One of construction is scheduled to begin this year.

Total length: 7.5 miles (Phase One will be 1 mile)

Location: Begins at Amboy Rd. and follows the Swannanoa River to Azalea Park. Ends at the intersection of Azalea Rd. and Tunnel Rd. In this phase, construction will take place from the intersection of Glendale Ave. and Thompson St. to the intersection of Bleachery Rd. and Swannanoa River Rd.

Timeframe: Construction should begin in late 2021/early 2022.

DYK: This will be East Asheville’s first greenway, and will be part of the Wilma Dykeman Plan (a.k.a. the oldest greenway plan from the city + county).


Photo courtesy of the City of Asheville

And, the city is looking for your feedback on the greenway plan (along with the ADA transition plan + pedestrian plan). The feedback process and end result, also called Close the GAP, brings together all three plans to create a more integrated network that will address them simultaneously. Two surveys – on the ADA Transition Plan survey + Close the GAP – are now open for public comment.

Want to keep up with the latest greenway news? Check out this interactive greenway map to see which greenways are finished, in process, or planned. The city’s Greenway Committee isn’t currently meeting due to the pandemic, but ordinarily meets the first Thurs. of every month at 3:30 p.m.

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