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Highlands Plateau Greenway

Location A network of trails and roads within the Town limits of Highlands, NC, On and off-road trails connecting downtown Highlands to Mirror Lake, the bear Pen, Highlands Botanical Gardens, and Sunset Rock.
State(s) North Carolina
Counties Macon
Type Greenway
Nature Trail
Urban Trail
Length 5.50 Miles / 8.85 Km Loop Trail? Yes
Allowed Uses Dogs - On leash
Pedestrian - Walking/Hiking/Running
Wildlife Observation
Agency Nonprofit
Entry Fee? No Parking Fee? No




photo: Trail overlook
Trail overlook

What sets the Highlands Plateau Greenway apart from other trails are these unique environmental features upon which the Greenway's trail system is superimposed, with opportunities for recreation, education on regional and natural history, art, and conservation for the Town's tens of thousands of residents and visitors. The Greenway connects established trail systems within the Town, allowing users to visit sites of special interest without the use of motorized vehicles through tracts owned by Greenway Partners: the Town of Highlands, Highlands Biological Station, Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust, and Bascom Center for the Visual Arts. In the future, the Greenway will also connect to Nantahala National Forest hiking and biking trails immediately adjacent to the town, and the Bartram Trail, an historic backcountry trail that connects with the Appalachian Trail.

The Greenway is intended for foot traffic only and its trails are rated as easy, moderate or difficult to indicate health and fitness opportunities for all user levels. Youth organizations such as the Highlands Girls Club, Boy Scouts, Eckhardt Campers and Americorps have learned trail construction techniques through Greenway volunteer programs. The Highlands Biological Station's Nature Center shares the Greenway's trail system through the Station's 25-acre Botanical Garden, which it uses extensively for science programs, serving diverse communities and urban populations with its over 15,000 annua (Continued...)


Visitor Information

Date Opens: 1/1 - Date Closes: 12/31

Time Opens: Sunrise - Time Closes: Sunset


Many access points are available from the commercial center to points of interest within the town limits of Highlands including downtown Highlands to Mirror Lake, the Bear Pen, Highlands Botanical Gardens, and Sunset Rock.


Additional Information

Width: 48 inches.

Primary Surface: Soil, Compacted

Secondary Surface: Asphalt
Crushed Rock
Grass or Vegetation

Average Grade: %

Elevation Low Point: 3800

Elevation High Point: 4190

Year Designated: 2010

Date Last Updated: 09/10/2015


Contact Information

Trail Management:
Hillrie Quin
Highlands Plateau Greenway, Inc.
P.O. Box 2608
Highlands , NC 28741
(828) 526-2385


Related Webpages and Documents

Title Type Link
Highlands Greenway web page from American Trails Website View/Download



Do you see a problem with this trail data? Contact either the trail manager (listed above) or email


NOTE: The information on this web site and/or in this database is provided for the convenience of the public, trail managers, organizations, elected officials, etc. Neither the National Park Service, the USDA Forest Service, nor American Trails can guarantee that the information is accurate. Trail users are urged to inquire locally about weather, trail conditions, trail characteristics, fees, and regulations! The information on this web site and/or in this database should not be interpreted as representing the opinions or policies of the U.S. Government, and any mention of trade names, commercial products, or businesses does not constitute their endorsement by the U.S. Government.




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