JONESBOROUGH, Tenn. (WJHL) — Washington County, Tennessee officials created a new task force as they consider ideas to expand the Tweetsie Trail into the county.
The expansion would be from East Tennessee State University to Jonesborough. The task force is still discussing route options but is trying to map out a main route that can be built off of in the future.
“Well one of the things about not having a state park in Washington County is we are sort of obligated to create green space opportunities for our citizens,” said County Mayor Joe Grandy.
One route group members are considering is following existing trails on West Walnut Street to East Main Street in Jonesborough. Abraham McIntyre is a task force member and is working on the Rotary Bicycle Playground in Johnson City.
“To really take in the community asset we have of the mountains, of the topography we have, and just the beauty of our area and doing that in a safe and healthy way is just an incredible asset,” said McIntyre.
Hiking and biking on the Tweetsie Trail would not be the only aspects offered with this expansion.
“I think the big part of this is the connection of really Carter County, Washington County, Johnson City, Jonesborough; bringing everybody together via a trail,” McIntyre said.
“[The expansion] is connecting the first settlement in East Tennessee at Sycamore Shoals with the oldest town in the state of Tennessee, Jonesborough,” Grandy said. “And being able to get between those two points on a really unique and beautiful trail system.”
Around a year ago, Grandy said Clemson University students looked at what a big trail system through the county would look like. He said the task force is referring to those studies.
There is still discussion regarding the cost of this project. Grandy said the task force is meeting weekly and hopes to have a proposal drawn up within the next few months.