Frequently Asked Questions for Hall’s Top Trail Master Plan

What types of trails are being proposed at Hall’s Top?

A mixture of hiking, mountain biking, and equestrian trails are being proposed for Hall’s Top area.

How many miles of trails are being proposed?

A federal grant was awarded to Cocke County from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) to construct 50-75 miles of trails in Cocke County. A recent grant amendment has allowed for the design and environmental analysis of up to 100 miles of trails.

How did the Hall’s Top Trail Master Plan come about?

The project builds on multiple convenings of collaborating entities, including the Cocke County Partnership and Cherokee National Forest. These convenings resulted in the identification of Hall’s Top as the optimal area to develop trails and associated recreation assets to enhance outdoor recreation opportunities and associated tourism development. The scope of the project includes Trail Planning and Design, an Economic Feasibility Study, and Environmental Studies under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

How will this project affect the Cherokee National Forest?

This project will expand upon the already abundant recreation opportunities offered within the Cherokee National Forest. The types of trails proposed will accommodate hikers, bikers, and horseback riders of all ages and skill levels. Any potential impacts on the environment will be analyzed and identified in the Environmental Assessment through the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process.

Are shuttle roads being built in Cherokee National Forest?

No new shuttle roads are being built within the project area. Potential shuttle opportunities on existing public roads will be analyzed for feasibility and environmental impact as part of the Environmental Assessment. Existing Forest Service prescriptions for nonmotorized and backcountry areas will be observed and will not include vehicular shuttle access.

What is the timeline for completion?

The planning portion of the project is set to be complete by the end of 2023. After the master plan and NEPA process have been approved, trail construction will go out to bid. Trail construction will occur in phases, with approximately 10-15 miles of trail constructed per year.

How can I get involved?

To date, we have held 2 public meetings and multiple convenings with project stakeholders, allowing citizens to share their thoughts and ideas on potential trails and amenities. Be on the lookout for future public input opportunities. Join our Newsletter for Updates!

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What material has been shared?

Click here to review the Open House Presentation from January 28, 2022. Open House Boards FINAL 2022_01_28_compressed+++

Click here to review the Conceptual Trail Changes. Conceptual Trail Plans

What is NEPA, and why is it so important?

The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires federal agencies to analyze the environmental impacts of their proposed actions and any reasonable alternatives before undertaking a major federal action. This process will include but is not limited to developing an Environmental Assessment and a public comment period.