The Little Tennessee Greenway
The Little Tennessee Greenway reflects all that is wonderful about Franklin NC. The real beauty lies in walking it. Here are interesting facts that will enhance your walk along the Franklin NC Greenway.
Suli (pronounced sue lee) Marsh is located at Riverview Sreet and Arthur Drake Roads. Its name is Cherokee for buzzard. The boardwalk access across the marsh is possible through the efforts of a volunteer construction crew.
At the southern end of MorrisTrace, at the intersection of NE Main Street and the Little Tennessee River, you will find Big Bear Park. It is named for a fictional Cherokee character, Yanagwa (bear), from a nineteenth century novel set in our area. In addition to a picnic shelter, restroom facilities, and a barbeque pit, it houses a premier playground with units for infants to older youths. A water spray unit is a great attraction during the summer months. Erected by volunteers (including Duke retirees) and memorializing a young child lost in a day care fire in Franklin in 2000, it has become a favorite destination for children, their parents and grandparents, as well as school and camp groups.
Directly across East Main Street from Big Bear Park sits the headquarters for the Greenway-- FROGquarters. The FRiends Of the Greenway and community volunteers operate Frog Quarters. It serves several purposes. First and foremost it is an information center for the Greenway and a place to house the equipment necessary to keep the Greenway beautiful. In addition, it is a source of revenue to support the development of the Greenway. The FROGs operate a gourmet coffee bar and gift shop focusing on local arts and crafts. A reference library of nature books is open to the public, courtesy of the Macon County Library.
Current access to the next trail section after Big Bear Park requires Greenway users to cross under one of the two town bridges, go up a ramp and cross the second bridge to reach the opposite side of the river where the trail continues. Old Airport Trail begins a short way from East Main Street after passing behind East Franklin Shopping Center. North Carolina DOT will begin construction of a new replacement bridge later this year and this will allow walkers to pass under both bridges, come up on the south side of East Main and cross the bridge, without having to cross any lanes of traffic. Construction in the mean time may close both bridges and require detours. Watch for "closed" or other direction signs.
This historic railroad served residents and local commerce from the late1800's to mid 1900 between Franklin and Clayton, Ga. ( see link to Tallulah Falls RR) The engine was reversed downline and backed into the terminus at Depot St.
Moving south from the River and Creek confluence walkers will find the only real hill on the trail, rising about 100 to 150' above the river level over a ridge and down into a flat area. The trail stops at a point 4.7 miles (from its beginning at Suli Marsh) on the bank of Cartoogachaye Creek. A short trail through a nice woodland will bring one to the Macon County Library parking lot two tenths of a mile before the current end. This woodland
area has a 3 mile mountain bike trail, zig zagging its way around a small area and crossing the foot path. Cyclists may access this trail from the Library parking lot.
The Bartram Trail Society hopes to use the Greenway as a portion of its famous trail into northern Macon County once this last section is completed.
Have a great cup of coffee or a cold drink and a snack, shop for gifts, check your email, check availability and make reservations for the picnic shelters. Learn about the other facilities of the Greenway, such as playgrounds, disc golf, and the new Dog Park.
FROGquarters is located on the right just before crossing the Little Tennessee River bridge on East Main Street.
HOURS: Monday-Friday, 8 AM-3 PM
Saturday, 9 AM-3 PM
The *Dog Park is located beside the Big Bear Playground parking lot. The fencing IS installed. Benches for sitting and trash cans for clean up are in place. Rules for dog owners using the Park are displayed.
The Dog Park is enclosed in a five foot clain-link fence, and divided into a section for large dogs and one for the smaller dogs. The entry area provides an area where the owners can unlease and lease dogs safely. Owners are asked to be responsible in watching their dogs behavior in the Park to prevent any damage to the facility. The dogs are innocent!
Features, such as agility equipment will be added as funds are donated for enhancement of the Dog Park. DONATIONS will provide funds for improving the Bark Park. Your support is greatly appreciated!
The Greenway is a public/private collaboration between Macon County, the Town of Franklin, North Carolina Parks & Recreation Trust Fund, NC Clean Water Trust fund, Friends of the Greenway and innumerial citizens and organizations in Macon County. Volunteers have always been a key to its success, turning out to construct Wesley's Playground at Big Bear Park, building picinic tables and trash surrounds, supporting fund raising events, and contributing hours upon hours of work for the planning, development and management of the park. To be part of this endeavor, contact the FROGs (Friends of the Greenway). They are across the street from Big Bear where they operate FROG Quarters.
Frog Quarters/573 E. Main St., Franklin, NC 28734
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