‘Bertie Beach’ approved as access point to Roanoke River State Trail

Published 5:31 pm Friday, April 14, 2023

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MERRY HILL – As the “Tall Glass of Water” project (aka “Bertie Beach”) continues to grow, so does its overall popularity outside of the county’s borders.

County officials were notified in mid-March that Bertie Beach is a designated access on North Carolina’s Roanoke River State Trail.

That announcement came from D. Reid Wilson, Secretary of the NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.

Wilson noted that his department along with the Division of Parks and Recreation, State Trails Program and North Carolina Trails Committee share a vision of a system of well-planned and managed trails throughout the state for all trails enthusiasts.

“This system is completely dependent on the efforts of partners who are willing to commit time and resources to make trails, blueways and greenways a part of the local community as well as segments of the greater State Trails System,” Wilson wrote in a letter to Donna Mizelle, Bertie County Parks and Recreation Director.

“We truly appreciate your efforts in creating and maintaining the Roanoke River State Trail,” Wilson added. “It is only through this type of partnership that our state trails can move from vision to reality. Another vital partner in this effort is the Roanoke River Partners – the official partner organization for the Roanoke River State Trail.”

”We are delighted to announce that Bertie Beach (Tall Glass of Water) has been designated as an official access on the North Carolina Roanoke River Trail,” stated Ron Wesson, Chairman of the Bertie County Board of Commissioners. “Our sincere thanks to Anne Lunsford, Executive Director of Roanoke River Partners, for her support. This recognition will help bring attention to one of Bertie’s new adventures across the region and state.”

Bertie’s “Tall Glass of Water” project is located on 147 acres along the Chowan River Estuary and the Albemarle Sound, purchased by the county. The site’s most stunning feature is its 2,200 linear feet of public beach and shallow calm waters.

The development of the project has come in stages, the latest of which was awarded a $500,000 grant from the North Carolina Parks and Recreation Authority. That money will be used for the next phase of the project, which consists of an outdoor education and event space. Accessible components include an ADA-accessible ramp, beach mats for improved navigation onto the beach and an accessible walkway from the parking area to the beach.

Located south of Bertie Beach is another 1,300 acres now owned by the state for a park called the Salmon Creek Natural Area.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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