Johnston County Purchases Land From School Board For Future Neuse River Access

The County of Johnston has purchased a 2.8 acre tract on NC42 East at Castleberry Road from Johnston County Public Schools for future public access to the Neuse River. (Johnston County GIS Screenshot)

CLAYTON – The Johnston County School Board has agreed to sale a tract of land next to East Clayton Elementary School to the County of Johnston. The 2.84 acre tract is located on NC Highway 42 East at Castleberry Road, adjacent to the Neuse River.

The Johnston County Parks and Open Space Department wants to use the property for public access to the Neuse River. It will also serve as an emergency boat access point to the Neuse River for first responders.

The Town of Clayton has also expressed interest in the property as a trail head. The parcel is on the proposed route of the Mountains to Sea Trail.

“The idea behind this property transfer is to allow for a car top boat – kayaks and canoes – access point to be established. It will provide safe, public access to the river and an additional access point for the launch of rescue watercraft in the event of an emergency. This is something that will be worked on with Wildlife Resources and other local entities,” said Adrian O’Neal, Greenways and Open Space Coordinator for Johnston County.

The County agreed to pay Johnston County Schools $34,080 for the property. Under state law, the school system had to sale the property at fair market value and could not donate the surplus land.

School officials voted September 14th to declare the property surplus saying it was no longer needed at East Clayton Elementary. County Commissioners voted September 20th to buy the real estate. Johnston County will pay for the land from their General Fund.

“The Neuse River is one of Johnston County’s greatest environmental recreation resources and this facility will definitely be an asset to the citizens and visitors and the businesses that provide related services,” Mr. O’Neal said.

The county and school board tentatively agreed to the land transfer in July 2020 but it took just over a year to work out all the details.


  1. Are there any plans to widen Castleberry Rd? I live right next to the school and traffic is already HORRIBLE on our road and we are already expecting 700 houses soon to be built. People constantly speed through the 45 MPH speed zone. Hope there is a plan for this congestion and potential for accidents that will be inevitable. This road is dangerous and needs to be evaluated before bringing in MORE TRAFFIC.

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