Click here for the
River Walk Map

More about the
River Walk Project

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Click here to preview
the 2016
River Walk Calendar!

Buy yours today
$12 at the
Curiosity Shop
Bookstore

downtown Murphy

 

River Walk
Project Manager
since 2010
Johnny Strawn

Email Johnny
or call him at
828.837.7921

Johnny has been working
 with the project since 2003,
 and took over as project
manager in May 2010.
Donations of native plant
materials and trees and
hand-crafted elements . . .
COUNTLESS from he
and his
nursery/property.
What a GIFT he, and
his wife Pam ARE, to
our community!
 

INTERESTED IN
GIVING BACK AS  A VALUED
RIVER WALK
VOLUNTEER?

Email
Jim Sullivan
jws78@yahoo.com
or call him at
828.837.9395
for the
River Walk VOLUNTEERS
Coordinator!

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

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When you run into a volunteer doing work on the River Walk,
just say THANK YOU!

Your River Walk always appreciates your support,
 your volunteer work on the trails, and your $$.
Every dollar goes a LONG way on the River Walk, thanks to the volunteers.
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

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Step onto the beautifully scenic Murphy River Walk at any one of these trail heads:
the Pool/Wellness Center and ball fields at Konehete Park, the County Health Dept
on on Hilton Street, the middle of McClelland Street
or the Old L&N Depot at the river bridge 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
at the far end of Konehete Park along the Valley River,
and end at the Old L&N Depot by the Hiwassee River bridge.

The Murphy River Walk & Canoe Trails is proudly sponsored by Heritage Partners.
Since its inception as a concept in 2002, the River Walk has come to be a model public
 and private partnership made possible by the TVA, the NC DOT, the Town of Murphy,
Cherokee County/Konehete Park, The Cherokee County Tourism Development Authority,
 Hiawassee Watershed Coalition, the Cherokee Preservation Foundation, The Dub & Murray Martin Trust
 for Cherokee & Clay Counties, other grant funders, private contributors, the Cherokee County Arts Council,
other partnering non-profit organizations, educational institutions,
and most important: 

the volunteer project management and on-site volunteers who quietly make it all happen.

EVERY DAY IS A GOOD DAY ON THE RIVER WALK.

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Click here for the
River Walk Map

More about the
River Walk Project

River Walk brochures
are available at
these locations:

Murphy Visitors
Center- downtown
on Tennessee Street

Hiwassee-Valley
Pool & Wellness
Center -
Konehete Park

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

 

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

 

Click here to preview
the 2016
River Walk Calendar!

Buy yours today
$12 at the
Curiosity Shop
Bookstore

downtown 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 River Walk Says THANK YOU!
It's hard to acknowledge the many acts of support in our community, or appreciate enough
the sense of personal pride and ownership of OUR RIVER WALK by so many individuals
and entities.  With that said, here's a sampling of some of the more recent "thanks" via
excerpts from the River Walk Project Manager:

AMONG the RECENT ON-TRAIL VOLUNTEER INITIATIVES

  • Bob Crisp, who noticed "The Fisherman's Loop" trail being graveled, offered and paid for
     the last load of gravel the project needed to finish the job.  Mark Kephart helped out with the
     Bobcat loaner for this work and discounted other parts of the project requirements.

  • The River Walk is always looking for reliable volunteers to take responsibility for parts
     of the trails routine maintenance.
    Sherry Carter, Mark Graham and others adopted the bluebird houses
     to care for on the trail which involves their installation, monitoring, and taking care of things
     like installing a baffle when a snake was discovered to be getting the eggs out of one!

  • We didn't and don't always get the names of people on the trail, but a special thanks
    to those who make it their business to bring a trash bag and help keep it
    clean and litter free.
      Many do!

  • Pam Strawn and Nancy Troxler organized "Earth Week" walks on the trail for 8 classes
     from the Murphy Elementary and Learning Center Charter schools.  Tony Ward from the Hiwassee
    River Watershed Coalition led the students along the River Walk, who learned how to be good stewards
     of our natural resources and and take good care of "their trail."

  • Recently group of approximately 15 from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
    did another community work day on the trail, their second on the River Walk. They are known as
    one of the hardest working groups on the trail, and their work spreading mulch, weeding,
     removing privet and multi-flora rose was so appreciated.

  • College students from Bowling Green State University spent a day removing privet and multi-flora
     rose from along the trail, the students being sponsored by the Hiwassee River Watershed Coalition-
    they use their "Spring Break" to do community work, and over the years this "alternate Spring Break"
    has provided some good long hard work days on the River Walk.

Thanks ALL.

AMONG the 2015 FUND RAISING CONTRIBUTIONS

  • Lisa Warner Makris, the daughter of the late Margaret & Ben Warner, and her husband Tony Makris,
    have donated a generous $5,000 to the River Walk in memory of Margaret Warner.  WOW.

  • Debra & Dave Vanderlaan of the Celebrate Life Gallery created and paid for
     the publication of the 2016 River Walk Calendar, in cooperation with Jon & Tammy Fleisher of
    Digital Creations USA. The calendar features 12 of Debra's original, stunning photographs of the River Walk.
    Linda Ray of The Curiosity Shop Bookstore is carrying the calendars for sale at $12 each-
    and all $12 goes to the River Walk.  Thanks to all who have, and will, buy
    the calendars! We hope to
    sell out this limited edition of 500, which would raise $6,000 for the River Walk. WOW.

  • Jeremiah Smith of Doyle's Cedar Hill Restaurant sponsored a music festival celebrating the River Walk
    called "There's Something In The Water. . ." Jeremiah put together a wonderful slide show of
    the River Walk for the evening's guests- it was a packed house on Doyle's porch.  Over $600 was
    contributed to the River Walk by guests that evening. Great!

  • Sarah Tennyson, who works out of the Macon Co. Health Department in Franklin, made $1,200 available for a
    new kiosk being built at the trail entrance by the Cherokee County Health Department.  Sara Wilson of the
    Cherokee Co. Health Department wrote up the benefits of trail walking that will be featured on the kiosk,
    along with a new updated map of the trail system.

Thanks ALL.

Donations/Contributions to the River Walk are tax deductible via Heritage Partners' 501(c)(3)
non-profit, all volunteer organization.

2015 GRANT APPLICATIONS AWARDED

  • The Cherokee County Tourism Development Authority granted $3,000 for the completion
    of the new River Walk Performance Pavilion.  A $5,000 grant previously obtained by The Cherokee
     County Arts Council
    also went toward that project. The rest of the project costs were covered by
    private donations and contributions to the River Walk. 

  •  

  • The Dub and Murray Martin Foundation for Cherokee and Clay Counties has granted $3,000 for
    the River Walk Native Landscape Enhancement project.  The value of ALL donated native trees and
    plant material involved by Johnny and Pam Strawn, Hanging Dog Valley Nursery, along with
    private donations and contributions to the River Walk, provided the grant match and balance of additional
    funds required for this project.

Thanks ALL.

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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 2015-16: Native Landscape Enchancements - in partnership with the Dub & Murray
     Martin Foundation (grant), and the Hanging Dog Valley Nursery (Johnny & Pam Strawn), you will be
    seeing even MORE beauty in the River Walk's natural/native landscape. After all, it's what the
    River Walk, and its benefits to this community, is all about.

  • New in 2015: 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.  WOW!  The June Arts, Rivers & Music festival
    was its first public event use - the performers and crowd loved it!

  • New in 2014-15: On Trail Directional Signage- constructed from re-claimed cedar from trees lost
    from the Doyle's Cedar Hill Restaurant property in the tornado that hit a few years back,
    on-trail directional signage has and continues to be added for identification and way-finding
     on the various trail segments. The signs are hand-crafted and installed by volunteers.

  • New in 2014-15: Covered Bridge, a TVA project on the River Walk - constructed in 2014 by the
     Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) under the direction of  Kemmy Garrett
     is the new covered bridge connecting the Fisherman's Loop
    with the main trail.  The River Walk assumed responsibility for staining the new bridge, as well
    as its continued maintenance and upkeep.

  • 3rd printing in 2014: River Walk Map Brochure - with the first and second printings gobbled
    up, funds from The Cherokee County Tourism Development Authority (TDA)
    were secured for a trail map brochure update and reprint. The latest brochure/maps
     can be found here on line (top left links), or in hard copy at the Murphy Visitors Center downtown
    on Tennessee Street,  the Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce on the 4-lane, or at the
    Hiwassee Valley Pool & Wellness Center at Konehete Park, in Murphy. 

  • New in 2013-2014: The Fisherman's Loop - clean up of this area just below the Health Dept
     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 towards the cost of this project.

  • New in 2012-2013: Confluence Loop & Hiwassee River Overlook Construction - the Confluence
    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 also has been
    completed, not far from the Old L&N Depot trail head.  Grants were awarded by the Dub and Murray Martin
    Cherokee and Clay Counties Trust toward the cost of these projects.

  • New in 2012: 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
Edwin Manchester

(pictured with wife Esther)
River Walk Project Manager
2003-2010

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.

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Home

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

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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]

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.

Fund-raising for the care and maintenance of your River Walk is a constant need.
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

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