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Cornelius News

More greenways will be under construction as 2020 begins

Dec. 13. By Dave Vieser. Parts of a 13-mile path of greenways and shared paths around Cornelius are starting to coming together. The most recent addition was the opening of the Antiquity Greenway which runs from North Zion Avenue to South Street, just north of the covered bridge in Antiquity.

Town officials have dubbed the greenway system the “Emerald Necklace” because of its goal of connecting town parks—the jewels on the necklace. When complete, pedestrians and cyclists will be able to navigate the entire circumference of the town through a network of paths, greenways and paved paths, according to Assistant Park Director John DeKemper.

Here’s a rundown on what’s done and what’s to come:


8.4 miles or 60 percent of the Emerald Necklace is complete including the new Antiquity Greenway which just opened. Also completed: 1.5 miles of McDowell Creek Greenway from Westmoreland Road to Birkdale; 2.6 miles of Caldwell Station Creek Greenway from Hwy. 21 at the Cornelius town line to Hwy. 115 and Bailey Road; 1.3 miles of multi-use trail on Bailey Road from Hwy. 115 to Hough High School and 2.3 miles of South Prong Rocky River Greenway along the Cornelius/Davidson town line from Bailey Springs subdivision to Davidson Elementary School on South Street.

Coming Soon

1.6 miles of McDowell Creek Greenway from West Catawba Avenue and Magnolia Estates Drive to Westmoreland Road and Plum Creek Greenway from the multi-use path on Bailey Road at Hough High to the South Prong Rocky River Greenway.

Future connections include a mile greenway from McDowell Creek Greenway and Hwy. 73 to Caldwell Station Creek Greenway and Hwy. 21, a mile of multi-use trail from Catawba Avenue and Hwy. 115 to the diverging diamond interchange and 1.3 miles of multi-use trail from the diverging diamond interchange down Liverpool Parkway, Sefton Road, Jetton Road Extension, and Catawba Avenue to Magnolia Estates Drive.

This will bring the total to 76 percent  of plan by the end of 2021.

In the design phase is the Smithville-to-J.V. Washam Greenway. This 1.6-mile segment will be built along with a 0.7-mile multi-use path along Westmoreland Road and a restoration project for Upper McDowell Creek.

In addition to the obvious health and environmental benefits, the greenways are also proving to be a boost to real estate, DeKamper said.

“Realtors specifically list homes noting proximity to the greenway and buyers desire being near recreational amenities,” he explained.

More information on the Cornelius Emerald Necklace may be found at www.cornelius.org/123/Greenways-Trails.