History of Lake Junaluska walking trail traced
The generosity of two couples allowed the completion of the 2.6-mile walking trail and footbridge at Lake Junaluska, and the subsequent construction of an amphitheater near the Junaluska Cross.
Bill and Joetta Rinehart owned the Tea Room during the 1960s, which was located at the lake level of the Harrell Center. Joetta Rinehart later served for 20 years as Director of Public Relations for the Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center.
The couple was honored for their contributions in 2009 with the Chief Junaluska Award by the Junaluska Associates. The couple gave a monetary gift to complete the trail, with Paul and Willie Mae Turbeville providing the funds for a footbridge across the narrow portion of the lake at the west end.
The Turbevilles had brought young people from First Methodist Church in Bradenton, Fla., to the Assembly for several years. During their visits, they walked around the lake, which involved walking along U.S. 19. Seeing the need for a footbridge, they offered to donate the money to get it built.
The bridge was completed in 1988. The Turbevilles’ gift freed up money that had been intended for the footbridge to build an amphitheater just below the Junaluska Cross in 1989.The Rineharts’ contribution allowed the trail to be completed in 1992.