There’s nothing quite like traveling the Murphy River Walk. Whether you’re embarking on a morning wakeup jaunt, shaking off the stress from your workday, or helping your canine companion to burn off some steam, you’re almost guaranteed to enjoy the trip.
This three-mile walking trail is located smack in the middle of Murphy, NC, and meanders from Konehete Park all the way to the historic L&N Depot. Along the route, you’ll see lots of native plants, and maybe a few birds and fish. You might even encounter your friends, neighbors, or coworkers. In other words, you never know who (or what) you’ll find along the River Walk.
Explore the River Walk by Land and Water
The Murphy River Walk came on the scene in 2003, with organizers launching the first of several trail sections. In 2016, the now-completed trail follows the Valley and Hiwassee Rivers as they converge into part of Lake Hiwassee. With three convenient trailheads, you can pick up the walkway at one of several in-town locations. Choose Konehete Park’s ball fields or the nearby Pool/Wellness Center, the Cherokee County Health Department on Hilton Street, or the L&N Depot at the river bridge.
If you’d rather travel the trail by water, you’ll find canoe and kayak put-ins on nearby Payne Street, along with Hiwassee Street just past the River Walk trail. In fact, paddling the river route completely changes your perspective, so we recommend trying it at least once.
Enjoy the River Walk’s Many Surprises
As you might expect, the River Walk’s scenery includes native trees, shrubs, and plants that you’d see throughout Cherokee County. As seasons change, so do the trail’s colors, eventually giving way to winter’s browns and grays. The river and lake water levels also vary with the seasons, as the Tennessee Valley Authority (or TVA) manages its power generation and recreation priorities.
Besides the naturally occurring greenery, the Murphy River Walk offers visitors a few more pleasant surprises. For example, you’ll see native landscaping courtesy of a local nursery, plus directional signs crafted of reclaimed cedar from a tree lost in Murphy’s 2012 tornado.
In 2015, River Walk fans cheered the addition of an outdoor performance pavilion behind the L&N Depot and Old Hackney Warehouse. Also during 2015, the TVA completed a sturdy covered bridge connecting the main trail with the Fisherman’s Loop. After the bridge was finished, the River Walk’s many volunteers stepped in to maintain it.
The Secret of the River Walk’s Success
Believe it or not, the Murphy River Walk is the result of a wildly successful public/private partnership. Managed by the non-profit Heritage Partners, the River Walk gets ongoing support from the Town of Murphy, Cherokee County Tourism Development Authority, the TVA, several non-profit and educational groups, and many private contributors.
Of course, the River Walk’s volunteer project managers and onsite volunteers keep the effort running like a well-oiled machine. In fact, don’t be surprised to encounter a trail maintenance crew somewhere along the route, during any time of year. Thanks to these energetic folks, and the River Walk’s many supporters, getting “back to nature” in Murphy, NC just got a whole lot easier.
The Poltrock Team – REMAX Mountain Properties – Murphy NC – www.ilovemurphy.com – Call us Toll Free at 1-866-Murphy-NC or 1-866-687-7496 – Murphy’s #1 Real Estate Team