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South Fork Rail Trail

Easy
 4.4 (5)

A scenic and flat natural surface trail great for a four mile out and back hike along the river.


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Map Key

2.0

Miles

3.2

KM

Point to Point

754' 230 m

High

729' 222 m

Low

32' 10 m

Up

47' 14 m

Down

1%

Avg Grade (0°)

2%

Max Grade (1°)

Dogs Unknown

Features Birding · Fall Colors · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers

Need to Know

The Southside Road bridge, over the South Fork River, is being replaced. Access across Southside Road is currently blocked due to the construction. For this reason, the trail south of Southside Road is currently closed. The map has been updated to reflect the closure.

Description

The South Fork Rail Trail is a 2-mile trail on the Rhyne Preserve that runs along the eastern banks of the South Fork of the Catawba River. The land surrounding the trail is protected by the Catawba Lands Conservancy, and the natural surface and crushed gravel trail is perfect for hiking, running and mountain biking.

Visitors to the trail can experience one of Lincoln County's finest natural areas, including mature floodplain forests along the South Fork Catawba River, a bald cypress swamp, rock outcrops, and lovely wildflowers. The preserve also provides important habitat for migratory songbirds and other wildlife species.

You can see the historic Laboratory Mill across the South Fork River which is now an event venue. This site was known as Lincolnton Cotton Factory 1819-1863.

Parking is available at 2677 Laboratory Road, Lincolnton, NC 28092.

Contacts

Shared By:

Brandon Thrower with improvements by Carolina Thread Trail and 1 other

Trail Ratings

  4.4 from 5 votes

#8177

Overall
  4.4 from 5 votes
5 Star
40%
4 Star
60%
3 Star
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1 Star
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Trail Rankings

#270

in North Carolina

#8,177

Overall
3 Views Last Month
1,435 Since Feb 18, 2016
Easy

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Photos

South Fork Rail Trail
Jun 17, 2019 near Lincolnton, NC
South Fork Rail Trail
Jun 17, 2019 near Lincolnton, NC
View from the end of the trail looking back the way you came.
Jul 30, 2018 near Lincolnton, NC
Looking across the dam to Laboratory Mill.
Jul 30, 2018 near Lincolnton, NC

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Check-Ins

Jul 4, 2022
Melissa Polovich
Mar 2, 2021
Jennifer Marquardt
4.1mi — 3h 00m
May 1, 2018
Jennifer Marquardt
Loved the old mills by the trail and the 2 dams!! 3.8mi
Aug 17, 2016
Brooks Byrd
Easy flat trail along the rivet 2mi