Establishing a National Historic Trail
“Turning of the Tide” in the American RevolutionThe Appalachia Region of the United States is steeped in history, namely in the form of Civil War-era historic sites that dot the region. It was a much earlier battle, however, that truly cemented the region’s place in the history books. In 1780, a 330-mile route stretching from Virginia to South Carolina was traversed by a rag-tag group of common folk in the Patriot militia who were on a mission to face down a larger contingent of British-led loyalists during the American Revolutionary War. The Patriots notched a decisive victory in the battle fought near Kings Mountain State Park in South Carolina and contributed to changing the course of American history. A century after this battle was waged, the U.S. Congress designated the route marched by the Patriot militia as the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail (OVNHT)—the first trail with a National Trail designation. However, the majority of the 330-miles that delineate the historic route remains undeveloped today. How do you build a trail and greenway system that can fundamentally improve the economic well-being of the communities and people that live along this historic route? How can we effectively approach landowners about the creation of a public trail? These were the questions DbD set out to answer with each OVNHT project.
Engaging LandownersA large portion of the work we did in the OVNHT planning process involved reaching out to landowners in the path of the OVNHT to brief them on the trail’s planned route. Landowners were engaged through the creation and dissemination of custom-produced videos, informational letters, and public meetings.
Bringing the Story to Life with VideoEach section of the OVNHT includes a custom-produced outreach video for affected landowners. The video helps explain the historical significance of the trail and the role that the landowners can play in preserving this piece of American history. In addition to the outreach video, a series of meetings provided an opportunity for landowners along the route to get their questions answered and learn how they can partner to help create the trail.