Woodfin Greenway & Blueway

Connecting Woodfin to the French Broad River

The Greenway & Blueway project is an ambitious $18.1 million effort to construct five miles of greenway along the French Broad River and Beaverdam Creek. The project will provide new river access sites and will fund development of the new Silver-Line Park as well as expansion of existing Riverside Park, in Woodfin. An exciting and much anticipated feature of the project will be the creation of the in-stream Wave feature for whitewater paddling and surfing enthusiasts.  

The planned greenway trails will connect to the larger greenway system being developed in the City of Asheville and beyond, promising a network of more than 25 miles of safe urban paths centering on the French Broad River. The project is being designed and built by the Town of Woodfin, with Buncombe County Recreation Services supporting the effort with design and construction of the greenway elements of the project.

PROJECT NEWS & UPDATES

  • A public forum was held to discuss Riverside Park, citizens are encouraged to fill out this survey and submit any comments or questions they have about the park here.
  • The master plan for the Riverside Park expansion has been completed and is now available for the public to view.
  • The Town of Woodfin finalized purchase of the former Waste Pro site that will be incorporated into the expansion of Riverside Park.
  • An official groundbreaking ceremony was held for Silver Line Park on July 14th 2020.
  • Equinox Environmental has entered into a contract with the Town of Woodfin to create design documents for the Whitewater Wave and Riverside Park expansion.

French Broad River and Beaverdam Creek Greenways

The Town of Woodfin’s 5 miles of new greenway trails will be part of a larger urban trail network that will extend through Asheville and beyond. Beginning at the Woodfin town limit near the intersection of Broadway and Riverside Drive, the French Broad River section will follow the river to the point where Beaverdam Creek enters the French Broad near Riverside Business Park.  The relatively short Beaverdam Creek section will follow the Creek upstream through its delightfully wooded and secluded gorge to come out near Merrimon Ave.  Over much of the route the greenways will parallel the path of the Craggy Mountain Line excursion railway.  The French Broad section of greenway will trace the route of the historic Drovers’ Road, the busy transportation path that connected east Tennessee to South Carolina and preceded the railway era in Buncombe County.

Planning and Design

The French Broad River and Beaverdam Creek Greenways’ Conceptual Design and Feasibility Study was completed in 2011, and provides an outline for the project as well as defines the general routing of the planned greenways. While current NCDOT cash flow challenges have delayed the County from executing a contract with the selected firm to design, engineer and develop permitted construction documents, the French Broad River Metropolitan Planning Organization at its June 25, 2020 meeting prioritized these greenways as one of two NCDOT District 13 priorities to restart once its cash reserves are replenished. 

Costs and Funding

Buncombe County’s current estimate to design, engineer and construct the greenways total $9 million and utilize funding already allocated by the Buncombe County Tourism Development Agency’s Tourism Development Product Fund, and the NCDOT administered federal Surface Transportation Program. Despite this, private funding is critical to meeting the project budget. Please consider increasing your impact with a donation!

Lead Agency

Buncombe County Recreation Services on behalf of the Town of Woodfin pursuant to a memorandum of agreement November 17, 2017.

Timeline

While we cannot say when NCDOT will approve the drafted agreement between Buncombe County and the design consultant, the basic sequential timeline upon start is as follows:

  • Design, engineering and construction documents: 1 year from start
  • Permitting: 9 months
  • Construction Firm Selected: 6 months
  • Construction: 15 months.

Return to the top

Silver-Line Park

The new Silver-Line Park will be built on a 4.5-acre site donated to the Town of Woodfin in 2012 by Silver-Line Plastics and the Silver family. The Park will provide a wide variety of opportunities including access to the river for recreational purposes, a children’s playground, and a connection with the Craggy Mountain Rail Line. Planned amenities include a trailer-ready boat ramp for river access, generous parking, picnic areas, stream bank restoration, a children’s playground, and walking trails. The existing commercial building may be converted into public restrooms, an outfitter that will provide bicycle and watercraft rentals, and possibly a small museum dedicated to railroad history in the region. The greenway trail will run through the site as well.  

Plan for new park along Woodfin Greenway

Planning and Design

The park construction has been divided into two phases. The design, engineering and permitted construction documents for phase 1 are now complete. Phase 2 construction documents have been approved, and construction began in September 2020. Completion of the entire park will be in late 2021.

Costs and Funding

The budget for this park is $2.9 million with secured funding originating from: the Town of Woodfin bond that voters authorized in 2016, the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority’s Tourism Development Product Fund, and private grants from the Pigeon River Fund, Duke Energy and Cannon.

Lead Agency

The Town of Woodfin is leading the construction of Silver-Line Park.

Timeline

Construction on Silver-Line Park began in September 2020, and the planned completion date is October 2021.

Return to the top

Riverside Park Expansion

Riverside Park was originally built in 1998 after the site was donated to the Town of Woodfin by the owners of nearby Riverside Business Park. The Town of Woodfin recently announced plans to expand the current Riverside Park southward by almost four acres.  Riverside Park is one of the most-loved place for recreation in Woodfin, and the expansion will almost double the size of the existing area. This move will mean a generous park expansion project, much better siting for the greenway and the Wave project, greatly expanded parking, and a seriously needed environmental restoration.  A new river access ramp suitable for trailers will also be included.  

Plan for Riverside Park expansion

Planning and Design

The Master Plan for the expanded park is completed, and the Town purchased the former Waste Pro property adjacent to the existing park in July 2020. This additional land is critical to provide the access and supportive facilities for the Wave, which will be adjacent to the park. In March 2021 Equinox Environmental was awarded the contract to create design documents for the Riverside Park expansion, as well as the Whitewater Wave.

Costs and Funding

The budget for this project is $3.4 Million. Funding for this project originates from: the Town of Woodfin bonds voters authorized in 2016, Friends of the Woodfin Greenway and Blueway, Buncombe County Tourism Authority’s Tourism Development Product Fund and the NCDOT administered federal Surface Transportation Program (Direct Attributable).

Lead Agency

Town of Woodfin

Timeline

The Town of Woodfin has approved the Riverside Park Master Plan, and local landscape architecture firm Equinox Environmental has been awarded the contract to create design documents for the Park, as well as the Whitewater Wave.

  • Development of design, engineering and construction documents is expected to be complete by Fall of 2021, with construction fully complete by late 2022.

Return to the top

The Wave

The Whitewater Wave will be a world-class river wave – perfect for a broad range of river adventurers from novice to whitewater expert. It will be created from a carefully designed and engineered ledge feature, made of natural rock and concrete, that is installed in the riverbed.  A preliminary design and feasibility study was completed for the Wave project in the fall of 2016, and can be viewed here. This conceptual document was supplemented in 2017 by a hydraulic analysis, which may be viewed here. The project’s design consultant, S2o Design and Engineering, indicates that the Whitewater Wave could be very similar to the Camphill Surf Park they designed on the Hawea River in New Zealand. The Wave will be sited adjacent to Riverside Park and the new greenway, in the Town of Woodfin.

Planning and Design

Local landscape architecture firm Equinox Environmental has been awarded the contract to create design documents for the Whitewater Wave, as well as the expansion of Riverside Park.

Costs and Funding

The budget for The Wave is $2.1 million. Funds for it originate from the Town of Woodfin bonds that voters authorized in 2016, Friends of the Woodfin Greenway and Blueway, Buncombe County Tourism Authority’s Tourism Development Product Fund and generous donations from private parties.

Lead Agency

The Town of Woodfin

Timeline

  • Design and construction documents are expected to be complete by Fall of 2021, with construction of the project to begin in late 2021/early 2022. Completion of the entire project is planned for late 2022/early 2023.

Return to the top