Can a route to the WNC Farmer’s Market get connected from the Hominy Creek Greenway?

On Saturday 22, members of the Connect Buncombe Board joined Tony Hauser as he led an exploratory (1.5 mile in and out) hike. Hikers bushwhacked near the Old Brevard Bridge (191) in an effort to establish a route that would connect the Greenway to the WNC Farmer’s Market. Tony’s initial cautionary note to hikers as follows: “There is no formal trail. The hike will cover a variety of terrain, from flat to steeply side-sloped, and ground conditions that include bare soil, riprap, and matted vegetation. The path we will take crosses over several drainage swales as well as areas of soil deposition along Hominy Creek, so be prepared for occasional muddy spots. Vegetation should not be a problem since we are in the dormant season but I usually bring a machete just in case.”

The attached photos from Mark Cobb show some of the sketchy terrain they encountered. In the end the Farmer’s Market Trail” proposal has some challenges, especially if a storm like hurricane “Fred” comes along in the future. Tony’s follow-up report summed up the day’s hike and findings.

Tony Hauser, “The weather and ground conditions turned out pretty good. The state of the Hominy Creek channel was shocking. The amount of soil loss and increase in width was a bit mind boggling. I would estimate that since the last time we hiked that route a volume of soil approximately 30’x15’x4000′ (~67,000 CY) or more has washed into the French Broad River… just between Rte.191 and the French Broad River.”

“I need to look at it in a bit more detail, but the severity of the erosion and its potential effect on the toe of slope supporting the Rte.191 embankments may present an opportunity here. For those that did not attend, we also discussed the possibility of a bridge-to-trail option. I’ll take a look at that option a bit more as I have time, but it goes without saying that it would require a no rise (flood) study and still require 1200′-1400′ of path to get up the hill to the market. The proximity of the Farmers Market to walkers and hikers along the Hominy Creek Greenway has always been tantalizingly close to those living in the West Asheville community. This “extension’ of the path would be a great asset for connecting residents and farmers.

 

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