Gaston County, NC

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. 

Ridgeline Trail

8 Miles One Way

Advanced

Natural Surface, Gravel

522 Park Office Lane, Kings Mountain, NC 28086

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.

Crowders Mountain State Park

Climb rugged peaks 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. Educational programs are also offered. Crowders Mountain is free.

Mother Nature blessed Gaston County with a pop-up mountain range in the heart of the Carolina Piedmont. This small range is anchored by Crowders Mountain and Kings Pinnacle, the centerpieces of Crowders Mountain State Park. Crowders is an adventure lover’s dream — 5,210 undisturbed acres just 15 minutes from downtown Gastonia and easily accessible by Interstate 85.

The park, one of the most popular in the North Carolina State Parks system, was founded in the early 1970s thanks to an effort by Gaston Conservation Society to preserve this unique mountain range from the threat of a large-scale mining operation. More land was acquired in 1988, and in 2000, an additional 2,000 acres were added to connect Crowders Mountain State Park with Kings Mountain National Military Park just across the state line in South Carolina.

ACTIVITIES FOR ALL HIKE, BIKE OR FISH

Within the park’s confines are adventures big and small. Hike the short but steep trail to the summit of Crowders Mountain to view Charlotte’s modern skyline in the distance, or stretch it out with the 12-mile (round trip) Ridgeline Trail that connects Crowders Mountain to Kings Pinnacle. Softer adventure can be had on several other trails, or enjoy paddling and fishing in the park’s secluded seven-acre lake.

Park staff hosts events and volunteer workshops throughout the year, and primitive camping is available in two areas. A family camping area has 10 sites, and a group camping area (ADA accessible) has 11 sites. Each area offers grills, picnic tables, tent pads, drinking water and vault toilets.

CONQUER CROWDERS

Many outdoor enthusiasts are satisfied with the strenuous hike to the “top of the world” at Crowders Mountain’s rocky peak. Conquering this steep, rocky ascent is a worthy achievement, and the payoff is a spectacular view of the North Carolina Piedmont.

Heartier souls prefer another method of conquering Crowders: scaling the 150-foot sheer rock cliffs to the summit. Rock climbing is allowed by park permit, and climbers must bring their own equipment. An even stiffer challenge is bouldering, which is also allowed by park permit. Park at the Boulders Access Area and hike one mile to the Boulders.

DOGS ARE CLIMBERS TOO

Crowders Mountain State Park allows dogs on all 11 trails, provided they are on a leash no more than six feet in length. The 11 trails vary in difficultly from easy to strenuous, so be sure to pick the right route for your pup (and you).

Please note the trails at Crowders Mountain are quite popular with humans, particularly during weekends, so keep that in mind when planning a hike with your dog. If you visit during a peak time, you will likely encounter a lot of two-legged and four-legged traffic along the way.

Kings Mountain

Kings Mountain is home to comfortable climates, top-notch educational institutions, healthcare facilities, recreational opportunities and friendly people. Whether you are interested in outdoor recreation, the arts, dining and shopping, business and industry, education or healthcare, we have it all right here in Kings Mountain. Special events provide Kings Mountain residents and visitors with year-round family-style entertainment, by producing and promoting free festivals and city-wide holiday celebrations.

Ridgeline Trail

Carolina Thread Trail

Mountain Island Tailrace Park Trail

Trail

Easy

1.6 Miles One Way

The trailhead, parking, playground and viewing area are next to Mountain Island Lake Dam, a hydroelectric dam owned by Duke Power.

Kings Mountain Gateway Trail

Gravel, Boardwalk, Sidewalk

Moderate

5 Miles One Way

8 miles of trail, 5 of which are designated Thread Trail, which is comprised of crushed stone, boardwalk, and sidewalk and is ADA compliant.

Belmont to Cramerton Sidewalk Connector

Sidewalk

Easy

1.3 Miles

Starts at Stowe Park in Belmont and connects almost to Cramerton.

Bessemer City Park Trail

Paved, Boardwalk, Natural Surface

Easy

1.3 Miles One Way

This looped trail offers rolling topography in a heavily wooded setting.

Robert H. Ballard Park

Walking

Easy

Located in Cherryville this park offers a walking track and more.

Highland Rail Trail

Paved, Gravel

Easy

1.5 Miles One Way

A ten foot wide, paved surface trail constructed along the historic Carolina and Northwestern Railway.

Seven Oaks Preserve Trail

Natural Surface

Moderate

2.6 Miles One Way

This trail meanders along the shoreline and connects to Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden.

Mount Holly Linear Park Trail

Paved

Easy

.3 Miles One Way

This concrete trail with runs along a railroad separated by a decorative fence.

Goat Island Greenway

Paved

Easy

.7 Miles One Way

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

South Fork Trail

Natural Surface

Moderate

2 Miles One Way

Adjacent to the South Fork River. The trail goes under the I-85 bridge and through woods along the river.

Highland Rail Trail Downtown Sidewalk Connection

Paved

Easy

.5 Miles One Way

This 0.5-mile downtown sidewalk trail connects downtown Gastonia to the Highland Rail Trail.

Kings Mountain to Town via Sidewalk

Sidewalk, Paved

Easy

2.1 miles, One Way

The sidewalk connects the Kings Mountain Gateway Trail to downtown Kings Mountain. Patriot Park is at the corner of Battleground Ave. and Gold St.

Catawba Riverfront Greenway

Paved

Easy

1.5 Miles One Way

The greenway works its way along the picturesque Catawba River between the two trailheads.

Riverside Greenway

Paved

Easy

1.3 Miles One Way

This trail winds along the bank of the South Fork River.

Avon/Catawba Creeks Greenway

Paved, Sidewalk

Easy

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.

Rankin Lake Park Trail

Walking, Jogging

Moderate

1.9 miles

This trail runs through Rankin Lake Park.

620 N. Main St.

Belmont, NC 28012

Phone: 704-825-4044

Toll Free: 1-800-849-9994

Visitors Center is closed
until further notice.

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