Milburnie to Anderson Point Corridor Master Plan

Corridor Description (Corridor Analysis Map)

A more detailed analysis and conceptual master plan was made for the segment of greenway corridor between Milburnie Park and Anderson Point Park as part of the master planning effort for these two parks. This two mile segment of corridor includes a range of flood plain and adjacent land use conditions representative of the entire Corridor and is proposed as a pilot study for development of the greenway as a whole.

The flood plain west of the river in this segment varies in width from approximately 50 feet just north of US-64 to over 1,400 feet at Rogers Lane. The more typical width is 300 to 400 feet. Adjacent land uses are primarily residential subdivisions or undeveloped woods and agricultural land. No development has occurred within the flood plain. The newer subdivisions have transferred density to the upland portions of the development and have placed ownership of the flood plain areas in homeowners' associations with conservation buffer status or have given the land to the City outright. Lots in older subdivisions typically extend to the river, but development is generally located on the upland portion only.

There is an existing gravel greenway trail connecting the two parks along the west side of the river, generally following the alignment of the sanitary sewer easement. In many cases this is much farther from the river than the 150 foot greenway easement proposed along each bank.

A privately owned property on top of a high rock outcrop just north of US-64 provides an excellent vantage point for viewing the river and could become a landmark site for westbound travelers on US-64 as well as for users of the greenway corridor.

Master Plan for the Milburnie/Anderson Point Corridor

(Milburnie/Anderson Point Corridor Master Plan drawing)

The environmental quality of the water, vegetation and wildlife, as well as the attraction of the greenway, are dependent on protection of the vast majority of the flood plain, not just a few isolated areas. This is especially true for wetland areas in their natural state. This plan identifies "natural areas" along the Corridor and recommends management of these areas to protect and enhance wildlife and environmental values.

Neuse River Trail - Design Recommendations

The alignment of the existing trail through the clearing for the sewer line has resulted in a rather straight trail in many places. This trail offers few views of the river and is separated from the woods on either side by a barrier of brushy vegetation. The existing crushed stone surfacing is neither attractive nor comfortable for walking or biking. The Neuse River Trail through this segment of corridor should be paved with asphalt. The character of the trail should be enhanced by management of the vegetation to create a more park-like character in the disturbed areas along the main trail. Recommended techniques include selective clearing of underbrush along the trail and woods edge to open up views into the woods and towards the river. Replanting of native trees close to the trail will create a canopy that will reduce the underbrush. Managing and shaping the open areas will create more appealing spaces along the trail, enhancing visibility and creating a sense of security for trail users. Plantings of trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants will attract wildlife. This will create a richer and more attractive trail environment.

Trail Network

The Neuse River Trail should vary in location from close to the river to the outer edge of the flood plain in response to varying characteristics of the terrain. A system of mainly unpaved secondary trails creates opportunities for loops and closer access to the river, as well as a different quality of trail experience with less rapidly moving traffic than will generally be found along the Neuse River Trail. Crossings shown are the same as those shown in the Corridor Master Plan.

Canoe Run

The segment of river between Milburnie Dam and Poole Road is a very pleasant run for recreational canoeing. It is mostly flat water but includes two small sections of Class I rapids and one section of Class II rapids located between Anderson Point Park and Poole Road. The Raleigh Parks and Recreation Department Adventure program uses this segment extensively for basic whitewater training. The staff has named a large boulder near the Class I rapids midway down this segment "Lunch Rock" and uses it as a stopping place during their trips. This plan provides a canoe landing near this location with pedestrian access to the Rogers Lane Wetland nearby. Canoe landings for side trips ashore are also planned along the Anderson Point Park riverfront as well as the launch site north of the railroad.

Rogers Lane Wetlands

Rogers Lane Wetlands is a prime environmental site in this segment of Corridor with a diversity of wetland types intermixed with drier flood plain areas and upland slopes, creating prime habitat for a large variety of wildlife. The plan calls for development and management of this area as a wildlife refuge and interpretive area, with an internal network of nature trails and boardwalks, including interpretive signage and observation stations. Limited access and parking is suggested at the southern end of the site. Wildlife habitat should be enhanced by adding nesting boxes and plants for wildlife to feed on in the old field areas of the drier flood plain.

Intensive Use Areas

Opportunities for intensive use areas, where numbers of people can get close to the river, exist at three points along the Corridor segment where high, dry land is in close proximity to the river and where river banks have been scarred by previous construction. These sites, located at Milburnie Dam, the area just north of US-64 , and the northern end of Anderson Point Park, present potential for terraces, promenades and overlooks along the riverbanks. Two of these sites are addressed in the master plans for the parks. The third presents an opportunity for private/public cooperation in the development of an upland site that enhances views of the Corridor, provides access to the Corridor, and becomes an attractive visual component of the Corridor.

Neighborhood Connections

The plan also suggests neighborhood access trails and parking for developments located adjacent to the Corridor. These communities are encouraged to view the greenway as an amenity and to create close and open connections where appropriate so that neighbors feel safe and comfortable using the greenway corridor.

Project Summary

The major components of this Neuse River Recreation Corridor Master Plan are the Conceptual Framework for the Corridor, the Corridor Master Plan, the Anderson Point Park Master Plan, and the Milburnie Park Master Plan. Together they begin to define the Neuse River Regional Park and the means to undertake the acquisition and implementation of such a park. The scope of the total proposal is breathtaking. This plan is not only a recognition of opportunity but also a recognition of responsibility. This plan presents a significant and worthy challenge to our generation to realistically preserve this Corridor as a marvelous gift to all who follow us.

With this plan it is easy to imagine what we can accomplish in the form of the Neuse River Regional Park. Imagination, when focused and applied toward realistic goals within our grasp as presented in this Master Plan, enlivens the present and enriches Raleigh for all future generations.