The Bureau has been working, and growing, with Outdoor NC since its inception in 2021. Offered via Visit NC, the state’s tourism office, the Outdoor NC Alliance Partner Program has evolved each year and continues to provide NC destinations with tools, guides, and opportunities to promote accessible and responsible recreation.

This year, the Bureau is participating in the new Trail Town Stewardship Program as a designated Trail Town Destination - this is an evolution of the on-going OutdoorNC Program. Through this partnership, we are committed to helping steward a more sustainable and inclusive travel and outdoor recreation industry for North Carolina and Johnston County. 

Our Trail Town Program Goals

One, inspiring everyone to not only experience the outdoors, but embrace and protect it as well. We are working with our state-level partners and our JoCo-based recreation partners to provide a wide variety of resources which educate outdoor adventurers on how they can recreate responsibly, respectfully, and safely using the Leave No Trace principles. As an Outdoor NC Alliance Partner, we actively encourage everyone to join the collective movement to protect our beloved, shared outdoor spaces. Join the Outdoor NC movement by clicking here.

Two, we are working to collaborate with our public land managers to better promote our ADA-compliant outdoor spaces moving forward. As our county’s trail system expands and as we add more recreational assets in JoCo, we are expanding our accessibility messaging on our outdoor facilities website listings; you can view this Howell Woods listing here as an example. This is to ensure we have the most accurate information possible regarding which of our recreational facilities are ADA-compliant and in what ways, so that all our visitors can make informed decisions before and during their visit to JoCo.

A little girl pulls a kayak out of the lake while smiling at the camera

Trail Town Stewardship Program 

The program recognizes communities across North Carolina for their diverse trail experiences and their commitment to actively promote accessible outdoors, responsible visitation, and sustainable tourism. The program and the resulting guide will be the first of its kind created and promoted by the state. Johnston County is proud to be among the first trail towns selected for the program. The future is bright for trails and recreation in JoCo; to learn more about it read our recent blog on the work being done by the county’s Open Spaces Department. 

The Trail Town Guide is still under development, but we cannot wait to share it with you once it is complete. For now, we can share this. As part of this new iteration of the program we have been working closely with our recreation partners and the county’s Open Spaces Department, including Austin Cross. Through the project we were able to create a Trail Town Destination Trip Tips piece in which Austin shares some of the best ways to recreate and explore JoCo’s scenic beauty while being a responsible steward of JoCo’s natural resources. Be sure to give Austin’s helpful tips a read!

Learn More by Exploring Our Website… and JoCo!

Studies show that 90% of travelers actively seek sustainable options when planning their trips, so we know that our efforts and the efforts of our partners are important to visitors. The Johnston County Visitors Bureau is working to actively promote stewardship, accessibility, and responsible recreation. View our Get Outdoors page on the Bureau’s website to learn more about how we’re sharing the OutdoorNC messaging and promoting JoCo as a great place to camp, hike, bike, paddle, and more! 

Biking on the Mountains to the Sea Trail