Gastonia is the largest town in Gaston County, North Carolina and can be found just south of I-85 off of exit 17 in the center of the county. Hwy 321 runs north and south straight through town giving even better access to this booming metropolis.
Natural Surface, Boardwalk, Gravel
2.5 miles, One Way
The Crowders Trail is part of the trail system at Crowders Mountain State Park and runs 2.5 miles through this popular park.
.08 mi. one way
The Backside Trail can be found at Crowders Mountain State Park at the Linwood Road Access. This trail is a strenuous hike including 336 wooden steps to reach a breathtaking summit and connects to the Crowders Trail also in the park.
Nature Trail at Schiele Museum
0.7 mile loop
All within a 0.7 mile trek, you'll experience a pine forest, mixed hardwood forest, and pond and stream communities typical of the North Carolina Piedmont. On our Trail for all Seasons, every day is a good day for a walk. Play'Scape is a good play area for kids along the trail. Please note four-legged, furry, leashed friends are welcome on our Nature Trail, but NOT permitted within any of the other outdoor exhibits.
Tower Trail at Crowders Mountain
1.8 miles one way
Begins at the Linwood Access Area and ends at the radio towers on Crowders Mountain. The trail is an old roadbed that begins with a gentle climb that becomes steep towards the end. Please note that business vehicles use this trail to access the radio towers near the summit.
Rocktop Trail at Crowders Mountain
1.4 miles one way
There is no parking at either end of the trail and the trail must be accessed by either beginning on the Crowders Trail (visitor center) or the Tower or Backside Trails (at the Crowders summit). This trail crosses several rock ledges and requires good footwear and careful attention to staying on the trail.
River Loop at Warlick YMCA
The River Loop is a part of the Sytz Trail System at Warlick Family YMCA. The trailhead is located just off the northeast corner of the Y parking lot with a large kiosk with map of the three connecting trail loops. The River Loop is roughly a one-mile loop, marked in blue signage, and is considered the flattest, shortest, and easiest of the three loops. Highlights include Catawba Creek views and forest views.
Quarry Loop at Warlick YMCA
The Quarry Loop is a part of the Sytz Trail System at Warlick Family YMCA. The trailhead is located just off the northeast corner of the Y parking lot with a large kiosk with map of the three connecting trail loops.
This 1.66-mile circuit is the longest and steepest loop. Marked with green signs you’ll follow along the Catawba Creek and passes by a rock quarry and certainly some wildlife along the way.
Power Loop at Warlick YMCA
The Power Loop is a part of the Sytz Trail System at Warlick Family YMCA. The trailhead is located just off the northeast corner of the Y parking lot with a large kiosk with map of the three connecting trail loops. This 1.39-mile circuit is marked with yellow signs. The power loop both begins and ends with the Power Line marker.
Sytz Trail System at Warlick YMCA
About 4 miles
The trailhead for the system is located just off the northeast corner of the Y parking lot. You’ll spot a large kiosk there that will show you a map of the three connecting trail loops. The trails are well-signed along the way, well worn and traveled, and it would be just about impossible to get lost. The trail system is open from dawn to dusk each day and is for walkers and joggers only. No bikes. Furry friends are welcome!
Avon-Catawba Creeks Greenway
2.4 Miles One Way
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
Highland Rail Trail Downtown Sidewalk Connection
.5 Miles One Way
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.
Rankin Lake Park Trail
This 1.6-mile loop trail is generally considered an easy route and is great for running and walking. Open year-round. Dogs are welcome and may be off-leash in some areas.
Highland Rail Trail
1.5 Miles One Way
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.