About the Plan

Plan Overview

Trails and greenways provide important mobility, recreational, economic, and health opportunities for the regions, communities, and people that access them. This plan is a chance for communities throughout southeast North Carolina to voice their vision for how trails and greenways should connect their region- both to other communities in the region and to national and state trails, like the Mountains-to-Sea trail and East Coast Greenway, that run through the study area.

The project team will work with community, institutional, and agency stakeholders to: identify existing and proposed trails and greenways in each COG and the region; make recommendations for corridors to complete these trails based on opportunities and constraints; develop a prioritized list of trail segments; and identify preferred trail alignments for each COG and the region as a whole. The focus of this plan will be on improvements that can be made in the near term (i.e., one to five years).

Plan Objectives

  • Understand the vision of each community for greenways and trails in their region
  • Collect and analyze data on existing trails and trails proposed in local and regional plans
  • Identify prioritization criteria to rank tail segments as future projects
  • Create an implementation plan that matches priority projects with funding sources and implementation partners

Study Area

The study area covers four councils of governments: Cape Fear, Mid-Carolina, Lumber River, and Eastern Carolina. The area also includes several Metropolitan Planning Organizations, Rural Planning Organizations, counties, cities, and towns.

Cape Fear Council of Governments

  • Brunswick County
  • Columbus County
  • New Hanover County
  • Pender County

Lumber River Council of Governments

  • Bladen County
  • Hoke County
  • Richmond County
  • Robeson County
  • Scotland County

Mid-Carolina Council of Governments

  • Cumberland County
  • Harnett County
  • Sampson County

Eastern Carolina Council of Governments

  • Carteret County
  • Craven County
  • Duplin County
  • Greene County
  • Jones County
  • Lenoir County
  • Onslow County
  • Pamlico County
  • Wayne County
Study Area Map


The Southeast Council of Governments Regional Trails Plan is scheduled for completion in early fall 2020, with opportunities for public engagement throughout the process.

Phase 1 – Review Existing Conditions & Collect Data - Fall 2019

Phase 2 – Planning Analysis and Community Outreach - Fall 2019-Spring 2020

Phase 3 – Develop Implementation Plan and Final Report – Summer-Fall 2020

Study Team

The project’s core team is responsible for coordinating, organizing, and analyzing materials. The project team will also work with a regional advisory group, COG representatives, and other local and regional stakeholders throughout the process.

Project Team

  • Division of Parks and Recreation
  • VHB
  • McAdams

Your involvement is important to the success of this study!

Learn how to get involved with the Regional Trails Plan »