Gaston County provides outdoor explorers with  natural spaces found in our state parks, county parks and city parks. Use these trails for an easy stroll or a strenuous hike. Some are great for  jogging and biking as well.

Go Gaston. Get Outside!

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The Carolina Thread Trail is a network of trails and blueways across 15 counties in North and South Carolina offering people a place to hike bike and paddle. Currently it has more than 300 miles of trails and 170 miles of blueways.

Once complete, the system will total 1,600 miles. Gaston County’s distinct towns and its proximity to the

Catawba and South Fork Rivers make it a great place to explore via their trails and blueways. 


Hike or bike any of these trails. Get outside and share your experience at #gogaston.

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Mountain Island Tailrace Park Trail

The trailhead, parking, playground and viewing area are next to Mountain Island Lake Dam, a hydroelectric dam owned by Duke Power. Almost the entire length of the trail is shaded by mature trees. There are several foot bridges and a boat launch. The trail ends in a small loop.

1.6 Miles One Way


400 Mountain Island Rd, Mt Holly, NC 28120, USA

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Seven Oaks Preserve Trail

This trail meanders along the shoreline. The trail connects to Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden. Visitors can continue along the back side of the parking lot along the Boulevard Trail and can then pick up on the Worrell Trail. The Worrell Trail connects back to the Seven Oaks Preserve Trail and finishes the loop. Visitors do not have to pay the garden to walk on their trails. Bicycles are allowed on the Seven Oaks Preserve Trail BUT NOT ALLOWED on the garden's trails. Please do not ride in wet conditions. 

2.6 Miles One Way
Natural Surface

Seven Oaks Trail - New Hope Trailhead, 6900 S New Hope Rd, Belmont, NC 28012, USA

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Ridgeline Trail

The Ridgeline Trail connects you to a 16-mile hiking trail loop at Kings Mountain State Park and Kings Mountain National Military Park called Kings Mountain National Recreation Trail.

8 Miles One Way
Natural Surface, Gravel

522 Park Office Lane, Kings Mountain, NC 28086

Kids Splash Pad Downtown Kings Mountain.

Kings Mountain to Town via Sidewalk

The sidewalk connects the Kings Mountain Gateway Trail to downtown Kings Mountain. Patriot Park is at the corner of Battleground Avenue and Gold Street. The newly upgraded park has an amphitheater with hillside and swing seating. There is a splash area, water fall and stream through the middle of the park. The trail continues past the historic theater, the Joy Performance Center also known as the Kings Mountain Little Theater to Beason Creek.

2.1 miles, One Way


Sidewalk, Paved

807 S Battleground Ave, Kings Mountain, NC 28086, USA

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Kings Mountain Gateway Trail

This trail is planned to connect the City of Kings Mountain to Crowders Mountain State Park, Kings Mountain State Park and Kings Mountain National Military Park. Hikers and bikers can enjoy the 8 miles of trail, 5 of which are designated Thread Trail, which is comprised of crushed stone, boardwalk, and sidewalk. The trail is ADA compliant. The Kings Mountain Gateway Trail parking lot and trailhead features a restroom/office facility, a bike rack and kiosk, and a picnic shelter that includes nine picnic tables and two large grills. There is also an interpretive nature trail for children to explore.

5 Miles One Way


Gravel, Boardwalk, Sidewalk

807 S Battleground Ave, Kings Mountain, NC 28086, USA

Best Farmers Market Mount Holly Outside

Mount Holly Linear Park Trail

This concrete trail with decorative brick accents.runs along a CSX active railroad ROW, separated by a decorative fence. A small segment of the trail runs south along S. Alexander Street and will eventually connect to the southern leg of the Catawba River Greenway. Strolling along the Linear Park Trail, the trail features direct connections to destination points such as the Grand Hall and Municipal Complex, the CaroMont Healthy Living Center, and the Catawba River Co-Op Food Market. These destinations support local farmers in the area by offering local produce and promoting the benefits of buying local.

3 Miles One Way



400 East Central Avenue, Mount Holly, NC 28120

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Catawba Riverfront Greenway

This 1.2-mile paved greenway connects to 0.7-mile paved loop in Tuckaseege Park and 0.3-mile paved segment at the Municipal Complex. The greenway works its way along the picturesque Catawba River between the two trailheads. From the Municipal Complex trailhead, you can easily walk along Catawba Avenue sidewalks for 0.3-miles to downtown Mount Holly where there are shopping and dining options.

1.5 Miles One Way



231 Broome St, Mt Holly, NC 28120, USA

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Goat Island Greenway

The Goat Island Greenway is .7 miles of paved surface trail, including two pedestrian bridges that go over two sections of the South Fork Catawba River onto Goat Island Park.

Goat Island Park, in the middle of the South Fork River, is a popular stop for paddlers. The island is full of activities: 18-hole disc golf course, dog park, fishing pier, permanent ping-pong tables and cornhole boards. A Carolina Thread Trail greenway runs east-west through the park with a bridge connecting the island to downtown.

7 Miles One Way



142 8th Ave, Cramerton, NC 28032, USA

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Riverside Greenway

This trail winds along the bank of the South Fork River. Walkers, runners, and bikers will enjoy exercising along a variety of surface types, including pavement, boardwalk, and community sidewalk. The trail ends at the Southern Railroad overpass where hikers can make the loop around a clearing and walk back to the trailhead.

1.3 Miles One Way



Riverside Dr, Cramerton, NC 28032, USA

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Belmont to Cramerton Sidewalk Connector

Starts at Stowe Park in Belmont and connects almost to Cramerton. Users take Eagle Road and follow the sidewalk until it stops in front of Pinebrook Swim Club.

1.3 Miles



24 S Main St, Belmont, NC 28012, USA


South Fork Trail

Adjacent to the South Fork River. The trail goes under the I-85 bridge and through woods along the river. The trail is marked at the 0.5, 1.0, and 1.5 mile points, ending near the cul-de-sac of a residential neighborhood. While no parking is available at this end of the trail, there is pedestrian access for neighborhood residents. The land surrounding this trail is on the Pharr Yarns Preserve. This is a historic trail twas originally used by the Native Americans and then utilized by settlers for textile mills. There were two mills in the woods along the trail.

2 Miles One Way


Natural Surface

119 Willow Drive, McAdenville, NC 28101


Avon/Catawba Creeks Greenway

This greenway is paved for its entire length, and much of it is lined by mature trees on both sides of the trail. The trail winds alongside Catawba Creek and Avon Creek with a few small bridges crossings along the way. Small benches are spaced throughout the greenway and usually come with good views of the creek as well. There are also numerous informational plaques placed along the trail regarding common bird species that can be found in the area. You can easily walk to the Schiele Museum of Natural History from this greenway along sidewalk for .25 miles

2.4 Miles One Way


Paved, Sidewalk

1401 Golf Course Dr, Gastonia, NC 28054


Bessemer City Park Trail

This looped trail offers rolling topography in a heavily wooded setting. Not only does the trail provide an opportunity for leisure but three access points provide transportation connections for surrounding neighborhoods to access the city park, pool. See historic remains of the city lake style community pool and bath house built in 1923. Wild muscadine grapes grow along the trail. The trail leads you out of the park across the street onto W Alabama Avenue where there is a gas station and into downtown Bessemer City. Turn left onto N 12th Street. You'll pass historic brick buildings and cross the train tacks as you enter the main part of town. Take a left onto W Virginia Avenue and continue down N 14th Street until the sidewalk ends. This is where the trail ends.

1.3 Miles One Way


Paved, Boardwalk, Natural Surface

220 S 14th St, Bessemer City, NC 28016, USA

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Highland Rail Trail

The Highland Rail Trail is a ten foot wide, paved surface trail constructed along the historic Carolina and Northwestern Railway. This urban trail meanders through residential neighborhoods and industrial areas, linking downtown Gastonia with Sims Legion Park and beyond. The Carolina Thread Trail sign marks one entrance to the trail at the intersection of Broad Street and Long Avenue. From this point, the trail continues northwest past Sims Legion Park toward I-85. The paved trail ends just short of Rankin Lake Road. There is a gravel path which connects Rankin Lake Road to the paved surface of the Highland Rail Trail.

1.5 Miles One Way


Paved, Gravel

200 E Long Ave, Gastonia, NC 28052, USA

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Highland Rail Trail Downtown Sidewalk Connection

This 0.5-mile downtown sidewalk trail connects downtown Gastonia to the Highland Rail Trail. Walkers and runners can follow this trail from the intersection of Marietta Street and Franklin Boulevard, along Long Avenue until they reach the trailhead for the Highland Rail Trail, which is located at the intersection of Broad Street and Long Avenue. The rail-trail is clearly marked by a Carolina Thread Trail marker and is visible from the road.

5 Miles One Way



200 E Long Ave, Gastonia, NC 28052, USA

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Rankin Lake Park Trail

The Carolina Thread Trail is a network of trails and blueways across 15 counties in North and South Carolina offering people a place to hike bike, and paddle. A work in progress, the Carolina Thread Trail currently has more than 300 miles of trails and 170 miles of blueways. Once complete, the 
system will total 1,600 miles. Gaston County’s distinct towns and its proximity to the Catawba and South Fork Rivers make it ripe for 
exploring via their trails and blueways.

1.9 miles


Walking, Jogging

1750 Rankin Lake Rd, Gastonia, NC 28052, USA


Robert H. Ballard Park

Located on Cherryville, this park includes two lighted Little League baseball fields, two lighted youth softball fields, a municipal pool, a children's playground, an outdoor basketball court, horseshoe pits, a walking track, and a picnic shelter. This park was expanded in 2007.

1.9 miles


Walking, Jogging

1750 Rankin Lake Rd, Gastonia, NC 28052, USA

Footsteps Trail Itinerary

With 113 miles planned and 25 miles already completed, the Carolina Thread Trail  provides natural connections to multiple points of interest in and around Gaston County. Use this itinerary to find all of the trail heads. 



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