8 Great Hikes for Fall Color in Gaston County
Peak color for this area is soon to arrive, so make your plans now for a weekend getaway, hit the trails, feel the fresh fall air, and enjoy nature’s beauty in Gaston County.
1: The Lake Loop at Crowders Mountain State Park
The views of the Lake Loop Trail at Crowders Mountain are quite lovely with every turn offering something new to behold. This short eighth of a mile loop is made of natural terrain and circles the full perimeter of the lake. To access, either park at the lake and follow signs from the Sparrow Springs entrance or you can park at the visitor center and hike the Turn Back Trail to Fern Trail.
2 Goat Island Park in Cramerton
Goat Island Park, in the middle of the South Fork River, is a popular stop for visitors. 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.
3 Rankin Lake Park in Gastonia
A 1.5-mile paved walking trail rims the 80-acre lake at Rankin Lake Park, complete with fishing pier and boat dock. Canoes, kayaks, johnboats and pedal boats are available to rent. A clubhouse and several picnic shelters allow for group events.
4 Stunning Views at Crowders Mountain
Climb rugged peaks from the Ridgeline Trail rising 800 feet above the surrounding countryside and 1,600 feet above sea level. Rocky ledges and outcrops are the perfect seats from which to view the panorama below. A visit to Crowders Mountain might include hiking more than 20 miles of hiking trails, rock climbing, backcountry camping, picnicking and fishing. Additional features include a visitors center with restrooms and exhibit hall.
5 George Poston Park at Spencer Mountain
Situated at the base of Spencer Mountain, one of Gaston County's "pop-up" mountains, George Poston Park features 13 miles of trails that meander throughout the park, winding around a lake, a river, and offering a climb up Spencer Mountain.
6 South Fork Trail in McAdenville
The South Fork River trail is a natural surface trail located along the South Fork of the Catawba River in McAdenville, NC. Access to the trail can be found just beyond the parking lot for the Boathouse on the edge of this historic mill town. Unload and hop on the trail.
7 Nature Trails at Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
Have you been out to visit the beautiful Garden Trails? Discover 3.2 miles of walking trails, including the Persimmon Trail, Seven Oaks Preserve Trail, and the Meadowood Walk! These trails provide not only beautiful scenery, but the chance to connect with nature.
8 Catawba Riverfront Greenway in Mount Holly
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.
Fall is a great time to plan a trip
Make the most of your next getaway by visiting Gaston County and exploring our trails. Check out our fall travel guide for even more things to do in Gaston County.