Welcome to the River Walk...
This beautiful greenway follows the Valley River and the Hiwassee River surrounding the historic town center of Murphy, North Carolina. The 4-mile walking trail includes a center loop at the confluence of these two rivers on the backwaters of Lake Hiwassee. Whether you take the trail on foot or put in for an easy paddle along the canoe trails, you'll enjoy the ecology and cultural heritage along the way.
Since it began as a concept in 2002, the River Walk has seen the successful completion of all phases of the basic trail construction between Konehete Park and and the Old L&N Depot. The volunteer River Walk project team continues its work with a host of ongoing maintenance, landscaping, interpretive signage, directional signage, and additional construction projects along the trails. Ecology classes for school students are held on the trail, as are student group work days for hands-on experiences.
The Murphy RiverWalk is managed and maintained by Town of Murphy with only the Konehete Park portion maintained by Cherokee County employees. It was created as a public and private partnership with various groups, including the Town of Murphy, Cherokee County, Tennessee Valley Authority, N.C. Department of Transportation and Hiwassee River Watershed Coalition. The trail is owned by the town but sits on TVA land.
HISTORY of the River Walk
Initiated as a multi-phase master plan concept in July of 2002, the Murphy River Walk project was formally endorsed by the Mayor & Town Council of Murphy, and by the Cherokee County Board of Commissioners, in January 2003. Phase 1 opened in the fall of 2003 at Konehete Park, and a master plan for its future phases was completed by the fall of 2004. Step by step, the River Walk was completed all the way in to the Old L&N Depot on Railroad Street at the Hiwassee Street river bridge in 2010.
Enhancement and improvement activities continue on with the trail surfaces, native landscaping and interpretive markers along the way. The approximate 3-mile trail carries the potential of far reaching benefits to the community- health and recreational enhancements to Konehete Park and the Wellness center facility, economic renewal stimulus for the historic town center, eco and heritage tourism, environmental conservation, cultural and historic preservation, native plant and wildlife education, and more.
The project master plan has been completed from Konehete Park all the way to the Old L&N Depot in town. The approximate 3 mile walking trail (6 miles round trip, or however you wish to take it) follows the Hiwassee River and the Valley River, which meet to form the back waters of Lake Hiwassee and surround the historic town center of Murphy, the Cherokee County seat.
As the seasons change, and as the river and lake waters rise and recede, the River Walk & Canoe Trails tend to change character as well. You’ll find it a beautiful connection with native plant life, bird and fish species, and the waters of two rivers meeting to form a lake. The natural wonders are breathtaking any time of year.
EVERY DAY IS A GOOD DAY ON THE RIVER WALK.
Step onto the beautifully scenic Murphy River Walk at any one of these trailheads:
- The Pool/Wellness Center and ball fields at Konehete Park, the County Health Dept.
- On Hilton Street, the middle of McClelland Street.
- The Old L&N Depot at the river bridge in town.
Canoe and kayak put-ins can be found on Payne Street and Hiwassee Street just beyond the River Walk trail.
The approximate 3 miles of trail surfaces start at the far end of Konehete Park along the Valley River, and end at the Old L&N Depot by the Hiwassee River bridge.