This is not a stellar example of the Rails-to-Trails program in NC.
That being said, I must still applaud the efforts of McDowell County, having bought the ROW from Norfolk Southern when they pulled up the old tracks. And with limited funds, it is apparent that the county is trying their best to improve the quality of the trail. Right now the usable part is only 1.5 miles long, but if they can refurbish an old trestle it will expand to 2.4 miles. This might be the case already, but a local civic club should adopt the trail as a community project for cleanup (trash, debris, brush, etc.) It is presently too rough for trail bikes (maybe mountain bikes), and would be unsafe for jogging. But it’s fine for walking.
Here is a link to the Peavine Railway:
That picture of the Marion Depot (listed as demolished in 1954) looks just like the present depot, now a museum.
Apparently the name “Peavine” is not unique because a search reveals several unrelated rail lines with that name. One such line still operates as the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad, between Dillsboro, NC and Murphy, NC. It runs through the Nantahala Gorge, and if you have never ridden that line, it is worth a side trip if you ever visit SW North Carolina or North Georgia. There are, of course, many hiking trails in the area.