By Maggie Carton, Vision Cashiers Pathways & Preservation Task Force Leader
Did you know Cashiers has a mile-long pathway connecting every shopping center, restaurant, and venue in the core commercial district? If you did not, you are not alone, but the Vision Cashiers Pathways & Preservation Task Force is working to change that.
The Cashiers Greenway Ramble is an extensive network of trails, sidewalks, and pedestrian-friendly roads in the heart of Cashiers. Users can park once and walk throughout Cashiers while engaging in a healthy activity and promoting a healthier environment.
The Cashiers Greenway Ramble traces its roots to 2007-08 when the Village Ramble, also known as the Cashiers Trail, was constructed. Community volunteers led by Bob Dews built the pathway and local business owners funded the project.
Over time property owners changed and weather and consistent use impacted trail conditions. Today, thanks to a generous grant from the Highlands Cashiers Health Foundation (HCHF), Vision Cashiers is revitalizing and extending the Cashiers Greenway Ramble, or Ramble for short.
With the HCHF funding, a detailed Ramble Master Implementation Plan was developed by Equinox Environmental. Finalized in the fall of 2020, the plan is available on the Vision Cashiers HERE.
The Implementation Plan outlines updated user wayfinding elements, evaluates trail conditions, and assesses Ramble extension opportunities. The Vision Cashiers Pathway & Preservation Task Force and Friends of the Cashiers Greenway Ramble are now implementing top priority plan elements with Ramble clean ups, new sign installation, hard-surface stenciling, and, most recently, the Ramble resurfacing in the Zoller Shopping Center and behind Whiteside Brewing.
Ramble maps are available on the Vision Cashiers and Jackson County Tourism Development Authority websites.
In addition to Ramble revitalization, the Albert Carlton – Cashiers Community Library, the Literacy Council of Cashiers, The Village Green, and the Vision Cashiers Friends of the Cashiers Greenway Ramble are partnering on an exciting project, the Ramble StoryWalk in the Village Green.
A StoryWalk is an educational activity that places children’s storybooks along a community walking route, combining physical activity with books encouraging children’s interest in reading and healthy activities. The first bilingual Ramble StoryWalk book will tell the tale of the Village Playground’s design and construction and was developed by local collaborators, author Ann Self, illustrator Kat Ford, and bilingual children’s author and program creator Ana Crespo.
The book was funded by generous donations from Mountain Youth Charities, Wade Hampton Golf Club Donor Advised Fund, Literacy Council of Cashiers, Harris Custom Builders, and Paul Robshaw and Linda Benge. Look for the Ramble StoryWalk Coming Soon series being installed on the Village Green and officially unveiled on April 2, 2021.
The Cashiers Greenway Ramble revitalization could not have happened without our generous supporters! To contribute to, or volunteer to help with, the Cashiers Greenway Ramble, the StoryWalk, or any other Vision Cashiers initiatives, please visit our website HERE, and do not forget to look for an opportunity to “ramble” on the Cashiers Greenway Ramble to see our progress.
Photos by Brian O’Shea