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21 things to do this spring in Gaston County, NC

Updated: Feb 27


Spring is here, and Gaston County is coming alive. Longer, warmer, sunny days with Carolina blue skies beckon you to get outside and try something new. Here are 21 things to do to enjoy the season.


Paddling the South Fork River. Photo courtesy of Catawba Riverkeeper

1 Paddle our blueways

Sunny days warm our rivers making it fun to paddle the blueways of the Catawba or South Fork River. Grab a boat and head to either for a day of fun on the water. If you have equipment, check out the 11 Mills Blueway Trail for your excursion. Or, check out one of the paddling companies offering hourly and guided tours. Gaston County offers many ways to enjoy our blueways. See our list of ways to get on the water.




Hiking Trails with Black Folks Camp Too

2 Hike our greenways

With the help of the Carolina Thread Trail, Gaston County offers more than 25 miles of trails incorporating sidewalks, natural surfaces, and paved trails, giving our visitors an excellent opportunity to get outside and enjoy nature. Get the Trail Map App to find some of the best paths to explore.





Rock Climbing at Crowders Mountain State Park

3 The pinnacle of fun

An outdoor adventurers trip to Gaston County would only be complete with a Crowders Mountain State Park stop. Our Insider's Guide will show you the best trails to hit. Or, if you are more of a thrill seeker, try rock climbing on its sheer cliffs. Crowders Mountain offers some of the best rock climbing in the Piedmont area, offering expansive views.






4 Home to thrill seekers

One-third outdoor adventure park, one-third nature preserve, and one-third restaurant/concert venue, the Whitewater Center offers rafting, whitewater paddling, flatwater paddling, climbing, ropes courses, ziplines, mountain biking, trail running, and yoga. Festivals, concerts, races, and culinary events give visitors reasons to come back again and again.





Photo courtesy of USNWC

5 Tuck Fest

Tuck Fest is a multi-day festival that celebrates the outdoor lifestyle through competitions, exhibitions, demos, and live music at the Whitewater Center. The festival features a variety of outdoor competitions that include trail running, kayaking, biking, climbing, stand-up paddleboarding, obstacle, and adventure racing. In six years, Tuck Fest has grown from 14,000 attendees to over 48,000 attendees.




Photo courtesy of Human Powered Movement

6 South Fork Sampler

To showcase the region's natural beauty and recreational options, the South Fork Sampler is an adventure race for all skill levels to compete to complete a scavenger hunt-style race. Individuals and teams work to collect as many checkpoints as possible in the shortest time to claim the prize of the winner!







7 Outdoor concerts

Make your weekend even more special by unwinding, relaxing, and refueling with entertainment, live music, and unique eats from some of the individual dining establishments in Gaston County. Each town in the county features outdoor concerts.




8 Sip craft beverages

The Ridgeline Craft Beverage Trail features breweries, distilleries, and wineries in Gaston, Lincoln, and Cleveland Counties. Each has a unique feel and culture; experiencing together creates a great weekend getaway.





9 Tiptoe through the tulips

Located on 380 acres along the banks of Lake Wylie, spectacular gardens, sparkling fountains, a conservatory dedicated to displaying tropical plants and orchids, a visitor pavilion, a garden store, and nature trails await the visitor.




10 Pick a pint of strawberries

Step into a strawberry patch in spring and pick ripe, juicy berries. Come summertime, look for vine-ripened tomatoes, homemade salsa, squash, and blueberries.



11 Check out the action track

One of the oldest and most successful dirt racetracks in the South!




12 Fishin' fun

Robinson Catfish Lake is a small lake stocked with fish including huge catfish where family and friends meet all trying to make a big catch.




13 Take a bike ride

Are you searching for that quiet country road to log some miles on your bike or dialing in and doubling down on gnarly singletrack? In the southeast, you'll find what you're looking for in Gaston County, North Carolina. With options for endurance athletes, weekend warriors, families with kids in tow, and everyone in between, We've got a ride for you.



14 Hit the fairways

Golf in Gaston County will challenge golfers of all levels, beckoning you with beautiful rolling fairways and incredibly scenic views. Our courses offer mountain-like terrain.



15 A day at the park

With over 80 parks within the county, enjoyment of the outdoors is easily obtained anywhere your adventure might lead.




16 Check out the best spring festivals

2023 promises to be a great year in Gaston County, as our signature events create great reasons to plan a visit. Use this list of events to "Save The Date" and make your plans now to visit Gaston County.



17 A night at the ball park

The Gastonia Honey Hunters are a professional baseball team in the Atlantic League based in Gastonia.




18 Farmers Markets

Our farmers' markets have become community gathering spaces where customers can interact with farmers. Some feature live music, chef demos, and kids' activities.



19 Enjoy our outdoor patios

Longer days and warmer weather create the best environment for dining outdoors. Check out JR Cash's in Mount Holly, Drift in Belmont—two excellent restaurants with great patios on the water.





20 Farm babies at Schiele

Celebrate the arrival of spring with a meet and greet featuring live farm friends. Guest baby animals will join resident pigs, sheep, goats, mini-cows, and more. Hop around The Farm and enjoy an egg-themed scavenger hunt with prizes.




21 A day to celebrate arts and culture

Gaston MAX is a Multicultural Arts Xperience in March at the Rotary Pavilion in downtown Gastonia. The City of Gastonia, Gaston County Public Library, Friends of the Gaston County Public Library, and Gaston County Government partner to celebrate the wide variety of cultures living in Gaston County and to showcase artists, authors, and entertainers.



 

Photo courtesy of Esquire Hotel in Gastonia

Gaston County is located in the Piedmont region of North Carolina, just west of Charlotte, NC, with easy access from Interstates 85, 77, and 321. Our location alone makes for a convenient getaway. PLACES TO STAY

Let the fun begin this spring in Gaston County, NC. Check out our SPRING GUIDE and make your plans to stay with us. As you can see, Gaston County is a recreational wonderland you need to explore.



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