River Walk
Project Manager
since 2010
Johnny Strawn

Email Johnny
or call him at

If you run into Johnny
working on the River Walk
trail- just say thank you to
he and all other
doing the same!

Johnny has been working
 with the project since 2003,
 and took over as project manager in May 2010.


Jim Sullivan
or call him at
for the
River Walk Project VOLUNTEERS

Keep posted on
on-site volunteer
and notices of
project work days.






The Murphy River Walk & Canoe Trails, proudly sponsored by Heritage Partners.
Since its inception as a concept in 2002, the River Walk is a model public
 and private partnership made possible by the  TVA, the NC DOT, the Town of Murphy, Cherokee County/Konehete Park,
The Hiawassee Watershed Coalition, the  Cherokee Preservation Foundation,  and other grant funders, private contributors,
 the Cherokee County Arts Council and other partnering non-profit  organizations, educational institutions, and
most important:  the volunteer project manager and volunteers who quietly make it all happen.


Thank you for your support, volunteer work on the trails, and your

Your tax deductible contribution is
NEEDED and gratefully accepted
 at any time,
 and in any amount, payable to:

River Walk
attn: Treasurer
P. O. Box 1152
Murphy NC 28906


Hit the beautifully scenic Murphy River Walk at Konehete Park or the McClelland Street
or the Old L&N Depot trail heads in town, and enjoy!
Canoe and kayak put-ins can be found on Payne Street and Hiwassee Street
just beyond the River Walk trail.

The approximate 3 miles of trail surfaces start (or end) at the far end of Konehete Park
along the Valley River, and (start or) end at the Old L&N Depot by the Hiwassee River bridge.



View of the old Southern RR trestle
bridge on the Valley River
[photo courtesy of Nic Oliver]

Click here for the
River Walk Map

More about the
River Walk Project

brochures available at
these locations:

Murphy Visitors
Center- downtown
on Tennessee Street

Pool & Wellness
Center -
Konehete Park

Cherokee County
Chamber of Commerce
Welcome Center
on the 4-lane
in Murphy


Shown above are walkers waving from overlook of the Great Leech Place of Cherokee Indian legend
to paddlers in the river below
[photo courtesy of Nic Oliver]

The project master plan has been completed from Konehete Park all the way to the Old L&N Depot
in town. The approximate 3 mile walking trail (6 miles round trip, or however you wish to take it)
follows the Hiwassee River and the Valley River, which meet to form the back waters
of Lake Hiwassee and surround the historic town center of Murphy, the Cherokee County seat.

As the seasons change, and as the river and lake waters rise and recede, the River Walk & Canoe Trails
tend to change character as well. You'll find it a beautiful connection with native plant life, bird and fish species,
and the waters of two rivers meeting to form a lake. The natural wonders are breathtaking any time of year.

Walking Trail Heads: Konehete Park/Hiwassee Valley Wellness Center, McClelland Street and Old L&N Depot
Canoe/Kayak Put-Ins: Payne Street and Hiwassee Street boat ramps (see map), as well as the "primitive" leg
 of the River Walk trail just behind the Old L&N Depot






A Footbridge Over the River [photo courtesy of Nic Oliver]

River Walk Happenings:

Watch for the continued progress, as in addition to ongoing trail maintenance and enhancement activities
the project team has been focused on the following projects:

  • New in 2014-15: Outdoor Performance Pavilion - in partnership with the Cherokee County Arts Council (CCAC), the River Walk is proud to
    announce the NEW outdoor performance pavilion, located behind the Old L&N Depot and Old Hackney Warehouse
    building.  WOW!  We're looking forward to the June River, Arts & Music festival sponsored by the CCAC there.

  • New in 2014-15: Covered Bridge, a TVA project on the River Walk - constructed in 2014 by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)
    is the new covered bridge connecting the Fisherman's Loop with the main trail. 

  • New in 2014: River Walk Map Brochure - with the first 5,000 gobbled up, funds were secured for a
    trail map brochure update and reprint in 2012. The latest brochure/maps can be found here on line (top left links),
    or in hard copy at the Cherokee County Visitors Center downtown on Tennessee Street in Murphy; the
    Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce & Welcome Center on the 4-lane, or at
    the Hiwassee Valley Pool & Wellness Center at Konehete Park, in Murphy. 

  • Fisherman's Loop - clean up of this area just below the Health Department was completed in 2013, with an access
    trail to the Valley River that followed, making way for a new trail loop on the Valley River and
    a connecting bridge to the trail down the road.  Thanks to the Dub and Murray Martin Cherokee and Clay County
     Trust for the start up grant in 2013 for this project!

  • Confluence Loop & Hiwassee River Overlook Construction - with the basic trail now completed,
    this extra loop at the convergence of the Valley and Hiwassee rivers forming Lake Hiwassee is one of the most
    beautiful scenic areas on the trail.  An overlook deck out on to the Hiwassee River has also been completed, not far from
    the Old L&N Depot trail head.  Grants were awarded by the Dub and Murray Martin
    Cherokee and Clay County Trust for these 2012-2013 projects- thank you!

  • Interpretive Signage Stations - The River Walk now features both heritage and ecological interpretive signage
     along the trail. A grant was awarded in 2011 by the OEO Small Growing Opportunities grant program for the project, and a prior grant from the Cherokee Heritage Foundation for the Leech Place overlook signage- thank you!


Thank You
Edwin Manchester

(pictured with wife Esther)
River Walk Project Manager

The community has the late
Edwin Manchester's leadership
and inspired efforts to thank for
bringing the Murphy River Walk
to a beautiful reality.

Edwin passed away in August 2010,
and left us with a
legacy of loving and giving
and caring as only an angel on this
earth could do. We figure
he'll keep heaven busy with
more than a few projects.



Our logo was designed by Niki Kordus with Cherokee County's heritage in mind.


Walkers at the Konehete Park section of the River Walk

Project Background

Initiated as a multi-phase master plan concept in July of 2002, the Murphy River Walk project was formally
endorsed by the Mayor & Town Council of Murphy, and by the Cherokee County Board of Commissioners,
in January 2003. Phase 1 opened in the fall of 2003 at Konehete Park, and a master plan for its future phases
was completed by the fall of 2004. Step by step, the River Walk was completed all the way in to the
Old L&N Depot on Railroad Street at the Hiwassee Street river bridge in 2010.

Enhancement and improvement activities continue on with the trail surfaces, native landscaping
and interpretive markers along the way. The approximate 3-mile trail carries the potential of far reaching benefits
to the community- health and recreational enhancements to Konehete Park and the Wellness center facility,
economic renewal stimulus for the historic town center, eco and heritage tourism, environmental conservation,
cultural and historic preservation, native plant and wildlife education, and more.

Student Projects - Earth Day on the River Walk [photo collage courtesy of Phil Mattox]

Fund-raising for future maintenance & construction activities continues.
You can help.

Your tax deductible contribution is gratefully accepted at any time,
 and in any amount, payable to:

River Walk
attn: Heritage Partners Treasurer
P. O. Box 1152
Murphy NC 28906