Peavine Trail (NC)

North Carolina

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Peavine Trail (NC) Facts

States: North Carolina
Counties: McDowell
Length: 1.5 miles
Trail end points: State St. and Rutherford Rd. (just south of First Christian Church)
Trail surfaces: Crushed Stone, Grass
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 7434070
Trail activities: Bike, Walking

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Peavine Trail (NC) Description

The Peavine Trail runs for 1.5 miles from State Street in downtown Marion, North Carolina to just south of the First Christian Church on Rutherford Road. Construction of the crushed gravel and grass trail began immediately after the City of Marion's purchase of 2.4 miles of the abandoned Peavine Rail Line from Norfolk Southern in 2010. The railroad corridor originally extended southward from Marion to Camden, South Carolina and was opened for operation in 1890 by the Georgia and Carolina Midland Railway Company. This rich history of the Peavine Trail is evident at the current Rutherford Road endpoint, where barricades prevent access to a gorgeous but structurally unsound original wooden trestle.

The City of Marion's plans call for the rehabilitation or demolition of the trestle to allow for the extension of the Peavine Trail to its full 2.4 mile potential. In the future, the trail will end at Jacktown Road with an extension to McDowell Technical Community College a distant possibility.

Parking and Trail Access

Public parking for the Peavine Trail is available at the old Rescue Squad building adjacent to the trailhead off of State Street. Additional parking can be found at First Christian Church on Rutherford Road, although this lot is unavailable on Sundays from 9 am to 12:30 pm.

Peavine Trail (NC) Reviews

Wide, smooth crushed gravel surface on level trail on old railroad bed. Great for brisk walking! Please do not pave this trail. We have many other paved trails in Marion, but no other resilient surface for 77 year old legs. Cudos to McDowell Trails Association and the City of Marion.

This is not a stellar example of the Rails-to-Trails program in NC.

That being said, I must still applaud the efforts of McDowell County, having bought the ROW from Norfolk Southern when they pulled up the old tracks. And with limited funds, it is apparent that the county is trying their best to improve the quality of the trail. Right now the usable part is only 1.5 miles long, but if they can refurbish an old trestle it will expand to 2.4 miles. This might be the case already, but a local civic club should adopt the trail as a community project for cleanup (trash, debris, brush, etc.) It is presently too rough for trail bikes (maybe mountain bikes), and would be unsafe for jogging. But it’s fine for walking.

Here is a link to the Peavine Railway:

That picture of the Marion Depot (listed as demolished in 1954) looks just like the present depot, now a museum.

Apparently the name “Peavine” is not unique because a search reveals several unrelated rail lines with that name. One such line still operates as the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad, between Dillsboro, NC and Murphy, NC. It runs through the Nantahala Gorge, and if you have never ridden that line, it is worth a side trip if you ever visit SW North Carolina or North Georgia. There are, of course, many hiking trails in the area.

I tried to ride this trail but frankly, it's really not worth your time. Don't know why they even bothered making it.


I have to say I can't recommend the Peavine for bicycles. The size of the gravel on the trail makes riding annoying and uncomfortable. Not the kind of uncomfortable you get on a single track - just boring. I have a good bike equipped for single track, with good tread, and I still got a flat from all the trash on the trail. The trail basically runs behind businesses and houses so you get a good view of all the trash hidden from the front. The shortness of the trail and the condition makes this one a looser, in my opinion. Sorry Marion.

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