08/25/10 — Neuse now has own set of trails

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Neuse now has own set of trails

By Steve Herring
Published in News on August 25, 2010 1:46 PM

Local tourism officials are hopeful the new Wayne County Paddle Trails along the Neuse and Little rivers will boost tourism here.

Wayne ranked 27th among the state's 100 counties in tourism, adding $120 million to the county's economy in 2008, said Betsy Rosemann, the Goldsboro-Wayne County Travel and Tourism director.

In a presentation to the Wayne County Commission, Ms. Rosemann said she had spoken to Tom Potter of Pikeville, president of the state Paddle Trails Association, who helped in the planning for the trails.

She said eastern North Carolina has natural resources people are seeking, and they are willing to pay a premium for the experience. Those travelers on average spend about $88 per day, she added.

She called the Neuse and Little rivers "little gems in our back yard that we never take advantage of." There are more than 70 miles of navigable waters in the county, she said.

"One of the unique things about this was when I started going to the webinars, a lot of issues with paddle trails are land ownership and access to the river," she said. "Well, we already had the access and none of them were privately owned. So we didn't have to enter any contractual agreements. The neat thing about it is that Waynesborough Historical Village is the center place for all of the trails."

Ms. Rosemann said mile markers will be installed along both river trails. A brochure also has been printed not only showing the trails, but local highways and information about the area.

The trails will stretch from the Wayne-Johnston county line to Seven Springs near Lenoir County.

"We are already entering some partnerships with Lenoir County (that has a similar trail)," she said. "Johnston County does not have paddle trails."