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Take in the Splendor of Fall Colors by Hiking these 5 Trails in Gaston County

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.