Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail (old)

Establishing a National Historic Trail

Destination by Design partners with the National Parks Service and local governments to establish a multi-use national historic trail.  Made possible by the grant support from the National Park Service. Local governments including Caldwell County, Burke County, the City of Lenoir, and the City of Morganton are currently working with Destination by Design (DbD) to establish a multi-use, OVNHT-certified trail through their respective jurisdictions.

The DbD planning process not only included traditional planning elements such as site suitability analysis and preferred and alternative trail routes, but also a creative and significant landowner outreach effort.

Project Scope

National Historic Trail Master Plan


National Park Service, City of Lenoir, Caldwell County, City of Morganton, Burke County


Lenoir to Morganton to Lake James, NC

Destination by Design Project: Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail - Burke–Caldwell Corridor Feasibility Study
National Park Service

“Turning of the tide” in the American Revolution

When a brave group of patriots marched through the Appalachian mountains in 1780 to face-down a British led army at Kings Mountain, they were walking into history. Little did this rag-tag collection of farmers and family men know that they would single-handedly change the course of American history forever. In fact, Thomas Jefferson said the battle at Kings Mountain was the “turning of the tide” in the American Revolution.

One century later in 1980, the US Congress designated the routes marched by this militia as the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail–the first trail with a National Trail designation.

Of the 330 miles that delineate the historic route of these patriots, only 80 miles actually exist on the ground. How do we ensure that this story is told and its history preserved? 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 Destination by Design set out to answer with the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail project.


Tell the compelling story, demonstrate a bold vision, and act in good-faith.

Bringing The Story to Life With Video

What better way to engage landowners then with a compelling video produced just for them? We interviewed stakeholders and landowners from the study area and custom-produced an outreach video for each section of trail. The video helps explain how landowners can help preserve history with the dedication of a trail easement. 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.

The Ultimate Analysis

It’s classic site suitability. Identify the opportunities. Identify the constraints. And answer the question: Where can we practically place the trail?





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