Mark Watson Park
The Jackson County Greenways Project is intended to enhance the quality of life in Jackson County by implementing and promoting a comprehensive greenway trail system throughout the county, emphasizing the benefits to the health of our citizens, the environment in which we live, and the protection of our natural resources. Our county and municipal leaders believe strongly that conservation of natural lands, preservation of water quality, increased economic development, enhanced wellness opportunities and expanded educational centers are key factors for the health of our communities and for generations to come.
Jackson County Greenways will enhance the current and future quality of life for our citizens and visitors by implementing and promoting a comprehensive greenway trail system that emphasizes benefits to our health and wellness and our environment. Jckson County's citizens recognize the importance of our natural and scenic resources, as well as the responsibility for sustainable growth. Reflecting this, a commitment to preservation and conservation projects should be combined with a practical and flexible commitment to providing safe, multi-modal transportation among the county's communities and towns.
The JRPP is a collaborative effort between Jackson County, the CFCDC, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI), the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), Western Carolina University (WCU), the North Carolina Rock Art Survey (NCRAS), and other agencies to preserve and protect one of the Southeast's most famous soapstone petroglyphs. Jucaculla Rock is one of North Carolina's most visited cultural sites, in a region that is home to countless Native American Indian settlements and trails on some of the most rural and undeveloped land in the Appalachians. Nearly 11,000 visitors per year travel to the rock, a soapstone boulder carved with petroglyphs of unknown origin and meaning as early as 1,500 BCE.