Greenways & Open Space

A greenwayGreenways are vegetated natural buffers that improve water quality, reduce the impacts of flooding, and provide wildlife habitat. Greenways may include features such as hiking, bicycling and equestrian trails, streams and rivers suitable for canoeing and boating, abandoned railroad rights-of-way, utility rights-of-way, scenic roads, and scenic easements. They connect people and places by linking neighborhoods, offices, parks, schools, transit stops, and shopping areas.

Greenways answer the growing public demand for safe and pleasant ways to travel about the Town. Currently there are 8 miles of developed and 50 miles of undeveloped greenways in the Wake Forest system, with more greenways being built every year.


Open Space & Greenways Plan Update 
The Town of Wake Forest adopted the Open Space & Greenways Plan Update in 2009. This update expands upon key recommendations from the 2002 Plan and provides the Town of Wake Forest with new ideas and tools to effectively create and maintain a comprehensive open space and greenway network. The new goals of the Plan Update, to be considered in conjunction with the goals of the 2002 Plan, are as follows:

  1. Provide specific recommendations for developing new priority greenway segments and facilities;

  2. Explore potential connections that can be derived from linking the old greenway plan to the adopted pedestrian, bicycle, and parks & recreation plans; and

  3. Expand on recent planning efforts for the Smith, Richland, and Sanford Creek corridors by identifying trail locations within their more broadly defined greenway corridors. 

Successful greenway planning requires dedicated work with many diverse citizens and adjacent landowners, including those opposed to greenways or specific greenway projects. In addition, community leaders and citizens with expertise in planning, safety, security, environmental and liability issues work together to implement a successful greenway plan. Wake Forest maintains a strong partnership with staff, Greenways Advisory Board, landowners, and other professionals in order to address most issues and concerns. We will continue to strive for effective public involvement as we develop and manage the greenway system.


Priority Greenway Corridors
The greenway system recommendations of the Wake Forest Open Space and Greenways Plan are broken down into two primary phases for future development:

  • Phase 1 - Smith Creek and Dunn Creek Corridors – key north/south corridors that connect Wake Forest with the Neuse River.

  • Phase 2 - Richland Creek, Sanford Creek, and the NC 98 Bypass Corridors – trails to be constructed along the Richland Creek Corridor will enhance connectivity by providing access to parks, schools, and neighborhoods along the corridor. Constructing trails along the Sanford Creek Corridor will connect hundreds of students to Heritage High, Middle, and Elementary schools. The Town’s Pedestrian Plan lists the NC 98 Bypass Corridor as the top priority greenway corridor. This would create an east/west connection for economic and transportation objectives.


Land Dedication
If you are interested in granting the Town of Wake Forest a conservation/greenway easement, please contact Candace R. Davis at 919-435-9513. You might qualify for federal income tax deductions or state income tax deductions or credits if you voluntarily grant a conservation/greenway easement to the Town as a charitable donation and satisfy any other applicable requirements, such as obtaining an appraisal for the donation.  

Please note, this information does not constitute tax advice to you, nor is it intended to be written or relied upon for the purposes of avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, or any other tax laws. If you have further questions about tax impacts, please contact an independent tax advisor.


Adopt-A-Trail Program


Staff Contact

  • Brendie Vega
    Assistant Director of Community Development
    919-435-9536

  • Holly Miller
    Assistant Town Engineer
    919-435-9443