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The Purple Martin Greenway provides a beautiful community amenity in Rutherfordton. The quaint western North Carolina town was established in 1787 and has many buildings on the National Register of Historic Places. The trail is named for the bird that appeared in the family crest of General Griffith Rutherford, who served in the American Revolutionary War.
The first phase of the trail opened in 2015 and the paved pathway currently spans just shy of 2 miles, but plans are in the works to continue the trail farther north to Kiwanis Park.
The route begins about a mile south of the downtown area with a loop inside Crestview Park, where travelers will find ball fields, playgrounds, and a picnic shelter. From there, the trail continues southeast towards S. Main Street/U.S. 221. After crossing the highway, the trail turns northward following Cleghorn Creek. There are access points down to the water, a view of a small waterfall, and a large picnic shelter in this section. The trail is largely wooded and along the way you are likely to see wildlife.
Parking can be found along Park Street in Crestview Park, as well as bathrooms and water fountains. Parking is also available on Skyline Drive, just east of S. Main Street/U.S. 221.
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