Hominy Creek Greenway Master Plan 2013

Our Mission

Welcome to the online hub for those who appreciate the Hominy Creek Greenway. 

The Friends of Hominy Creek Greenway (FOHCG) is a non-profit group committed to the preservation of the Hominy Creek Greenway. We have worked since 2010 with the City of Asheville and local residents in accordance with our mission statement.

The Friends of Hominy Creek Greenway (FOHCG) works with the community to manage the Hominy Creek Greenway (HCG) in order

  • to maintain its wild nature,
  • to preserve its rich history, and
  • to connect the HCG to the French Broad River, future greenways, and downtown Asheville. 

Our Vision

Friends of Hominy Creek Greenway works collaboratively with members, volunteers, neighbors, school groups and local organizations to restore native habitats along Hominy Creek as a place for community to recreate, commute, and connect with nature.  We envision the following:

  • Creation of a community greenway park by working with local artisans,  landscapers, and neighbors to create park facilities that support community gatherings, individual discovery, and alternative modes of transportation
  • Restored native habitats through the riparian zone and waterway
  • Partnerships that foster support for the greenway and encourage the involvement of local businesses and residents.
  • Established community gardens and edible forests in ideal places along the greenway/path
  • Interpretative signs and educational tools for teachers, students, and other visitors
  • Well-maintained footpaths to ensure its use as a trail for walkers, bikers, and other wanderers-raising source for the Friends of Hominy Creek Greenway.

Join us as a member or volunteer.

Please contact board president Jack Igelman at jack@igelman.com if desired.

Greenway FAQs

How do I find the Hominy Creek Greenway?

The Hominy Creek Greenway is in the heart of “walkable” West Asheville. There are two greenway trailheads that connect Sand Hill Road to Shelburne Road. The trail parallels Hominy Creek and runs through a secluded fourteen-acre tract of forest.

Where can I park?

There are two public parking areas, one at each end of the greenway. There is a parking area at Sand Hill Road; and a parking area at Shelburne Road near the intersection of Hominy Creek Road near the old National Guard Armory. Each gravel parking area is distinguished by a trailhead kiosk with a map of the trail.

Are the Hominy Creek Greenway and Hominy Creek Park the same places?

No, they are different parks with similar names. The Hominy Creek Greenway is a city park and the Hominy Creek Park is operated by Buncombe County. Hominy Creek Park is located roughly one mile downstream of Hominy Creek Greenway at the confluence of Hominy Creek and the French Broad River.

How long is the greenway?

The ⅔ mile linear trail is situated on fourteen acres of public land. The trail is a dirt path that is relatively level.

Will the greenway trail ever be paved?

A master plan has been developed for the greenway. Currently, there is no timeline to improve the greenway trail. Since the trail is public, it is possible it will be paved to increase accessibility and to be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

Are there plans to connect the Hominy Creek Greenway with other public greenways?

Yes. The greenway will one day be part of a county wide trail system that will be known as the Buncombe Turnpike Trail Network spearhead by the Friends of Connect Buncombe. A feasibility study to connect the greenway to the Bent Creek neighborhood is underway and there are a variety of other community and public greenway projects being developed throughout the county.

Is it safe to swim in the creek?

You should swim at your own risk. The Hominy Creek watershed drains roughly 80 square miles of the county. The watershed includes industry, roads, and agriculture. The water quality of Hominy Creek is impacted by many dynamic variables that are difficult to detect and not measured on a regular basis.

Why are there sewer caps along the greenway?

The Metropolitan Sewage District of Buncombe County maintains a sewer line that runs underneath the greenway.

Are dogs allowed on the greenway?

Dogs are welcome on the greenway. A city ordinance requires that all pets be kept on a leash. Dog owners are encouraged to follow this ordinance in order to respect neighbors, the environment, and other pets and users of the greenway.

Who is in charge of the greenway?

The fourteen acres that encompass the greenway was purchased in 2011 by the city of Asheville with financial support from Buncombe County and donations from a variety of organizations and private citizens. The Friends of Hominy Creek Greenway, Inc. (FOHCG, Inc.) serve as stewards of the HCG. The FOHCG, Inc. is a North Carolina non-profit corporation that is made up of a group of volunteers dedicated to managing the parkland. The FOHCG Inc. has a formal partnership agreement with the city of Asheville.

How can I help support the greenway?

Please join our effort: become a member, participate in volunteer workdays and/or attend our bi-monthly Board of Trustees meetings.

My question has not been answered here. Can I speak to someone instead?

Of course. Please contact FOHCG, Inc. Board of Trustees chairman, Jack Igelman, using the email icon on our home page.

Volunteers clearing invasive plant species using mechanical methods

Mechanical Clearing Underway

Quick update on the areas being mechanically cleared. Asheville GreenWorks is currently removing overgrown invasive plants to save our precious trees and create a wonderful place to relax. Currently being removed: privet, bittersweet, honeysuckle and the devil himself… multiflora rose. Once these specific plants are removed, we will seed with native grasses and will continue to mow these newly opened areas to beat back the invasive plants.

These areas will then become new planting areas for native trees, edible plants and pollinator meadows. Some of these areas will be perfect for beach blankets, picnics, pick-up soccer games, sunbathing, yoga and much-needed relaxation.

Public work days will be posted on the kiosks or you can email volunteer@ashevillegreenworks.org if you’re inclined to help out.

Mountain XPress Credits Brotherhug

From the Mountain Xpress, 11/5/2013

Walk any day along the Hominy Creek Greenway (not to be confused with Hominy Creek River Park) and you’ll pass scores of walkers, nature lovers, runners and families. To me, this represents quite an achievement. For years, West Asheville residents have walked and jogged the narrow path cleared by the Metropolitan Sewerage District between Sand Hill Road and Shelburne Road beside Hominy Creek, but the property only recently entered the public domain.

The lion’s share of the credit belongs to Doug “Brotherhug” Barlow, who led the effort to protect the space after moving here from Atlanta in 2006. “It’s a magical place,” he says. “The first time I saw the land, I immediately felt it needed to be public space.”

Plants Found on Hominy Creek Greenway

This list has been compiled from several people’s observations. If you find any errors or omissions, please leave a comment.


Patch of May Apples along the trail
May Apples growing across the trail

Alumroot, Heuchera
Aster, Aster spp.
Beard Tongue, Penstemon
Bedstraws or Cleavers, Galium aparine
, Bidens laevis
Bittercress, Barbarea vulgaris
Blood Root, Sanguinaria canadensis
Boneset, Eupatorium
Cardinal Flower, Lobelia cardinalis
Christmas fern, Polystichum acrostichoides
Fire Pink, Silene virginica
Fleabane, Erigeron strigosis
Golden Ragwort, Senecio aureus
Goldenrod, Solidago spp
Horsetail, Equisetum arvense
Indian Strawberry, Potentilla indica
Ironweed, Vernonia noveboracensis
Jack In The Pulpit, Arisaema triphyllum
Jewelweed, Impatiens capensis
Jewelweed (Yellow), Impatiens pallida
Joe-Pye Weed, Eupatorium purpureum
Mayapple, Podophyllum peltatum
Native Knotweed, Polygonum
Phlox, Phlox carolina
Poison Ivy, Toxicodendron radicans
Putty Root Orchid, Aplectrum hyemale
Red Morning Glory, Ipomoea coccinea
Rue Anemone Thalictrum thalictroides or False Rue Anemone, Enemion biternatum*
Queen Anne’s Lace, Daucus carota
Solomon’s Seal, Polygonatum biflorum
Venus’ Looking Glass, Triodanis perfoliata
Wild Geranium, Geranium maculatum
Wild Hydrangea, Hydrangea arborescens
Wild Peppergrass (Smartweed?)
Wingstem, Verbesina alternifolia
Wood Aster, Eurybia divaricata

*Undetermined indentification


Elderberry, Sambucus sp.
Mountain Laurel, Kalmia latifolia
Rhododendron, Rhododendron sp.
Sweet Shrub, Caliycanthus floridus

 Invasive Plants along Hominy Creek

Japanese Knotweed
Japanese Knotweed

Chinese Privet, ligustrum sinense
English Ivy, Hedera helix
Garlic Mustard, Alliaria petiolata
Japanese Knotweed,  Polygonum cuspidatum
Japanese Honeysuckle, Lonicera japonica
Japanese Stiltgrass, Microstegium vimineum
Chinese silvergrass, Miscanthus sinensis
Multiflora Rose, Rosa multiflora
Oriental Bittersweet, Celastrus orbiculatus
Periwinkle, Vinca minor
Russian Olive, Elaeagnus angustifolia
Tree of Heaven, Ailanthus altissima
Winged Euonymus (Burning Bush), Euonymus alatus

Invasive Plants

On a global basis…the two great destroyers of biodiversity are, first habitat destruction and, second, invasion by exotic species” – E.O. Wilson

Invasive Scavenger Hunt card for Hominy Creek Greenway

Invasive Scavenger Hunt Card

The biggest challenge we face in restoring the park land to a natural state is removing the many invasive plants and restoring native plants in their place. 120 years of neglect allowed the exotic species planted in neighboring gardens and other areas to naturalize in this area, displacing the native species.

We face a long term challenge, most likely ten years or so to clear most the areas. The Japanese knotweed along the banks is perhaps the most difficult plant we face as it has invaded the banks of most the waterways in our area. It spreads easily and rapidly.

See the list of invasives found along Hominy Creek Greenway.

Resources about invasive plants

Online Resources
RiverLink: Guide to Control Methods for 10 Common Western North Carolina Riparian Weeds

WNC Alliance: Pocket “Do Not Buy” list of Invasive Exotic Plants

FOHCG: Invasive Species Scavenger Hunt 

U.S. Forest Service Publications
A field guide for the identification of invasive plants in southern forests*
A Management Guide for Invasive Plants in Southern Forests*
   *available in print (free) from Asheville Greenworks