Learn, Connect, and Grow

The Annual Piedmont Legacy Trails Summit is where passionate trail advocates in the Piedmont Triad and across the State of North Carolina connect and learn. In 2021 the Summit will take place virtually over the course of 4 Fridays in March: The 5th, 12th, 19th, and 26th. Each day will hold one educational zoom session in the morning with each week featuring a different speaker and topic relating to trails in the triad. The 2021 Virtual Summit will be entirely free.

Along with these online sessions will be small group, distanced, masks required, outdoor fields trips lead by PLT Partners at local trails. These field trips will have limited spaces.

We are thrilled to welcome some speakers from outside our state to our sessions this year (A virtual setting has some perks)! We look forward to hearing from Mark, Pete, and David throughout the series.

Trail Funding Strategies

March 5th | 10:00am-11:30am


Pete Eshelman, Director of Outdoor Branding, Roanoke Regional Partnership
Joe Furstenberg, NC DOT Integrated Mobility Division
Scott Crocker, NC Recreational Trails Program (NC State Parks)

The session will present 3 approaches to trail funding. Scott will share insights on funding trends in the NC Recreational Trails Program.  Joe will detail strategies for NC DOT funding for greenways. Lastly, Pete will will highlight creative fundraising strategies that support local projects by showcasing the Roanoke Regional Partnership’s Roanoke Outside program which seeks to brand and promote the region’s outdoor recreation amenities to create a healthy quality of life for residents and visitors, essential elements to attract high quality jobs and spur economic development. 

AICP Credit CM ID: 9212710

Field Trip:
Cane Creek Mountains Natural Area

March 5th | 2:00pm-4:00pm
5072 Bass Mountain Rd, Snow Camp, NC 27349

Lead by Guil Johnson, Alamance Parks

Join Guil Johnson with Alamance Parks for a hike on the 2.5 mile Northern Approach Trail at the new (opened in May 2020) Cane Creek Mountains Natural Area. Weather Permitting. Masks Required. Space is limited to 20.

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The Case for Community Health through Trails

March 12th | 10:00am-11:30am

Mark Fenton, National Public Health, Planning, and Transportation Consultant

Mary Joan Pugh, Randolph County Trails Coordinator
Sam Varner, Randolph County Wellness Administrator

This session will demonstrate the evidence of the close ties between trails and health. Mary Joan Pugh and Sam Varner will demonstrate how they’ve put this evidence into action and created a culture of walking in Randolph County. Mark Fenton will share his experiences creating more active and more livable cities, towns, and neighborhoods.

AICP Credit CM ID: 9212713

Field Trip:
Downtown Greenway | Greensboro

March 12th | 2:00pm-4:00pm

Lead by Dabney Sanders with Action Greensboro

Join Dabney Sanders with the Downtown Greenway and Action Greensboro for a tour of Greensboro’s Downtown Greenway! This Field Trip will give you a taste of everything: Finished sections and art installations, a newly constructed public artwork, the newly renovated Lofi Park, and the soon to be constructed western leg of the loop. Starting at the Morehead Park Trailhead (475 Spring Garden Street), the group will walk together approximately 1.5 miles. Choose between turning around at this point, stopping in for a beer at Joymongers, or walking the whole 4 mile loop. View the Map here.

Weather Permitting. Masks Required. Space is limited to 20. 

Harnessing the Trail Market for Economic Development

March 19th | 10:00am-11:30am

David Kahley, President, The Progress Fund and Trail Town Program®
Leslie Schlender, CEcD, Economic Development Director for the Town of Elkin
Heidi Walters, Director of Partner & Industry Relations for Visit North Carolina

David Kahley with the Progress Fund shares the story of how and why his organization developed the Trail Town brand, what elements create a successful trail town, and what obstacles rural communities face in developing their brand as a trail town. He will share about some of their successes and challenges and provide some context for how our state can benefit from their experiences; Leslie Schlender with the Town of Elkin will share their experiences in building economic develop strategies around trail infrastructure; and Heidi Walters will present Visit NC’s new NC Outdoor campaign, a public information campaign to help us preserve the natural beauty of NC and a partnership with Leave No Trace.

AICP Credit CM ID: 9212708

Field Trip:
Klondike Lake Trail | Elkin, NC

March 19th | 2:00pm-3:30pm
235 Chatham Cottage Lane, State Road, NC 28676

Lead by Bob Hillyer and Bill Blackley with Elkin Valley Trails Association

Join Bob Hillyer and Bill Blackley from the Elkin Valley Trails Association on a hike at their newest trail, Klondike Lake Trail, the first dedicated forest bathing trail in North Carolina. Learn about the EVTA’s partnership with a local business, Grassy Creek Vineyard that hosts a trailhead on their property. This hike will begin and end at Grassy Creek Vineyard. Stick around for a glass of wine after! Weather Permitting. Masks Required. Space is limited to 20.

Trail Planning, Designing, and Building

March 26th | 10:00am-11:30am

Tim Johnson, Senior Planner with Destination by Design

Learn the essentials of creating sustainable trails for all different types of trail users, including the fundamentals of trail planning, design and construction.

AICP Credit CM ID: 9212709

Field Trip:
The Ridge Cycle Hub | Lexington, NC

March 26th | 2:00pm-3:30pm
1441 Ridge Road Lexington, NC, NC 27295

Lead by Chris Phelps with Tourism Recreation Investment Partnership for Davidson County

Join Chris Phelps from Tourism Recreation Investment Partnership for Davidson on a preview of the not-yet-opened mountain bike park, The Ridge Cycle Hub. This field trip will be a tour of the facilities and features with an optional ride at the end (weather permitting).

Masks Required. Space is limited to 20.