About Us


NCRT monitors the state's rail system, actively pursues corridor preservation, retrieval and conversion to public trails. NCRT fosters local leadership and currently supports local rail-trail initiatives throughout the state. NCRT provides coordination between local, state and federal agencies, allied state and national organizations, and project funding sources. A primary instrument in this networking is the NCRT newsletter, which has been published regularly since 1989. The Board of Directors meets quarterly throughout the state at project locations. The members of the Board represent bicycling, hiking, equestrian, historic, conservation, preservation and economic development interests. In July 2010, Carrie Banks joined NCRT as its first Executive Director. Carrie was NCRT's first paid staff member and prior to her hiring NCRT was an all-volunteer organization. On December 31, 2014 Carrie stepped down from her post to pursue other opportunities and was succeeded in the Executive Director role by Emily Herbert.

Rail-trails can serve diverse users. Portions of the American Tobacco Trail in Chatham County have both a 10' asphalt section and a parallel 6' granite screenings section preferred by runners and equestrians.


Primary Objectives

  1. Establish regional demonstration rail-trails of state significance.
  2. Obtain favorable rail corridor preservation and interim trail legislation.
  3. Assist multiple local rail-trail corridor initiatives throughout North Carolina.
  4. Foster a statewide network of non-motorized commuting and recreation trails.

Bailey & Dixon assisted in forming the NC Rail-Trails Plenary Committee, which during 1994-95 conducted an intensive study of state legal and administrative hurdles that inhibit rail corridor preservation. More than 25 railroad executives, private and public attorneys, deputy state secretaries, state administrators and departmental policy advisors participated in the review.


North Carolina Rail-Trails began as a steering committee June 3, 1988, at the North Carolina Greenways Conference in Charlotte, was incorporated March 12, 1990, and received IRS 501(c)(3) status Dec. 30, 1990. The corporate address is PO Box 62182, Durham, NC 27715. NCRT is a member of North Carolina Land Trusts. As a land trust, NCRT is able to hold rail corridors (or segments) on an interim basis until a County or other organization can take over long-term trail management. We are also charter members of Earth Share of North Carolina (formerly Environmental Federation of North Carolina), the North Carolina Conservation Network and the North Carolina Center for Non-Profits. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) of Eastern North Carolina recently notified us that that we meet all of their 20 accountability standards and have been designated as an Accredited Charity. Feel free to browse NCRT's Reliability Report. Bailey & Dixon of Raleigh represents NCRT's legal interests and assists in legislative development.

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NCATA Logo       NC Land Trusts


Since 2002 NCRT played a significant role in establishing these regionally significant rail-trails:


A public contact and project coordination office is maintained by Emily Herbert, our Executive Director, in Durham. Emily can be reached by phone at 919 399-5214 or by Email at execdirector@ncrailtrails.org. Questions concerning our web site should be sent to Curt Devereux

View PDF file of NCRT By-laws effective 1-1-2010

Our Photo-Gallery of Some Rail-Trails in North Carolina

You can support the creation of rail-trails in North Carolina by joining NCRT.