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Bicycle fundraiser announced for Mills River greenway

Cyclists of all ability levels are invited to enjoy a ride through the beautiful Mills River and Etowah countryside on Saturday, July 20.

Conserving Carolina and Bold Rock Hard Cider are holding the event to benefit the future Mills River Valley Trail, a paved pathway that will connect the heart of Mills River to the French Broad River. The ride begins and ends at Bold Rock Hard Cider in Mills River. The cidery is also hosting a free festival that day.

Cyclists can choose between two routes. There’s a six-mile route for families and others who want a shorter ride along low-traffic roads. Cyclist desiring a more challenging ride can take on the 25-mile course.

Online registration is open now. The cost of registration is $25 in advance or $30 the day of the event. Kids ages 15 and under ride for free. All proceeds from registrations and sponsorships support the Mills River Valley Trail.

Cyclists can choose their start time. Registration and check-in will be open from 8 a.m. to noon, with the course open to cyclists starting at 9. Those who want to ride as a group should plan to start at 10. Rest stops will be provided at Bold Rock Hard Cider and Etowah Park.

The free festival at Bold Rock Hard Cider from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. will include music by the French Broad Valley Music Association, food trucks, activities for all ages, and of course hard cider and other beverages.

To register for the Mills River Valley Trail Ride, go to:

Conserving Carolina is also looking for sponsors and organizations that would like to have a table and offer fun activities at the festival. We also need volunteers to prepare and to help out on the day of the event. If you would like to support the ride, please contact Linda Giltz, Mills River Valley Trail Project Manager at Conserving Carolina at or 828-329-8907.

The Mills River Valley Trail will be a new paved pathway along NC 280 that will create a safe route for walking and biking between Mills River and the French Broad River. This path will make this busy road safer for everyone, provide opportunities for recreation, and make Mills River a more attractive place to live and work.

Conserving Carolina is spearheading efforts to create the Mills River Valley Trail and is currently raising funds that will be matched 4 to 1 by grant funding that the Town of Mills River has secured. Learn more and support the trail at

Conserving Carolina is a local land trust dedicated to protecting land and water, promoting good stewardship, and creating opportunities for people to enjoy nature. Learn more and become a member at