Session will offer close-up look at Tweetsie Trail project tonight

Published 8:07 am Thursday, June 5, 2014

The Tweetsie Railroad was once an integral part of life in East Tennessee. Now that old rail line is being transformed into a trail — the Tweetsie Trail — that will connect Johnson City and Elizabethton.
Tweetsie Trail supporter Dan Reese will share a presentation on Tweetsie Rails to Trails tonight at 6:30 at Tipton Haynes State Historical Site. The presentation is being sponsored by the Watauga Historical Association.
“I will be sharing all the historical assets that are on that trail,” Reese said. “There is Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park, Sabine Hill and the Carter Mansion.”
Reese said he will also discuss the railroad’s history and its impact on local cities.
“That is how Johnson City came to be, by building the train tracks through there,” Reese said. “There were three tracks that met up in Johnson City.”
The presentation will tie together the “sense of the history and recreation” while sharing the progress of the Tweetsie Trail project.
“We want groups, like the Watauga Historic Association, to support the trail,” he said. “It is a valuable historic asset.”
Reese has been involved since the start of the project six years ago. He said he was still in “disbelief” that the Rails to Trails board was preparing to open the first phase of the project.
“Six years ago, this was just a dream, but now it has come to getting ready for opening day,” he said. “It is a real feat. It has taken the public support to move this far and to help the city governments recognize the need to invest in this.”
Reese said he looks forward to seeing the next two phases of the trail completed, which would bring the trail through Elizabethton and up to Snap-on.
“The Downtown Business Association is behind this,” Reese said. “This could bring people to town who have never seen downtown Elizabethton before. They will shop in the stores and eat in the restaurants and see how great the town is.”
For more information, visit the Tweetsie Trail website at and their Facebook page

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