MOREHEAD CITY — Those needing a place to take a brisk walk have a new option thanks to completion of a 1.3-mile walking trail through the campus of Carteret Community College.
The college started the three-phase project in 2021, and the third and final phase was completed in mid-January.
Total cost of the trail was $656,232, and the project was funded through grants, private donors and private foundations.
CCC President Dr. Tracy Mancini said she was excited to see the project’s completion.
“Research shows the physical and mental health benefits of walking outside. The trail will provide students, employees and the general public a safe, scenic and convenient route,” she said. “We hope more people will visit Carteret Community College’s beautiful campus to walk the trail — and perhaps learn about resources, programs and events that may be of interest to them while they’re here.”
The college’s walking trail ties into Morehead City’s sidewalk system and a living shoreline project recently completed on campus.
The trail has two observation decks and a non-motorized boat launch for kayaks, canoes and paddleboards. Landscaping around the trail will eventually incorporate rain gardens, educational kiosks and signage providing information on activities involving several academic areas like aquaculture technology, horticulture technology and other programs.
“We are currently working on directional signage and will eventually work in signage that highlights programs on campus,” Dr. Mancini said.
The trail starts on the east side of the campus at Arendell Street, travels along the campus property line behind the McGee Building, then the Bryant Student Center and along the western campus shoreline to the parking lot next to the MARTEC building.
Those taking advantage of the trail Jan. 27 said they appreciate having a safe option for walking.
Sean Buckout, a nurse at Carteret Health Care, which is across the street from the college, said he enjoys walking the trail on his lunch breaks.
“I like to come out here during my lunch because it’s peaceful,” he said. “It’s a quick, easy walk, and it gets the blood flowing.”
Mika Malila, a researcher at the UNC Institute of Marine Sciences, which is next to the college, also takes advantage of the trail.
“I walk here almost every day,” he said. “You get a 20-minute walk and get exercise. There’s just not a lot of walkable roads around here.”
Contact Cheryl Burke at 252-726-7081, ext. 255; email Cheryl@thenewstimes.com; or follow on Twitter @cherylccnt.
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