South Fork Rail-Trail

North Carolina

South Fork Rail-Trail Facts

States: North Carolina
Counties: Lincoln
Length: 2 miles
Trail end points: Laboratory Rd. and Near the confluence of the South Fork Catawba River and Indian Creek
Trail surfaces: Crushed Stone, Dirt
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 7681267
Trail activites: Mountain Biking, Walking

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South Fork Rail-Trail Description

As you might expect, the South Fork Rail-Trail closely follows the South Fork of the Catawba River on the south end of Lincolnton. The trail rests atop a former rail corridor within land preserved by the Catawba Lands Conservancy. Scenic views of the river abound, and wildflowers line the route in the late spring. The landscape along the trail consists primarily of forest and wetland, as well as an adjacent bald cypress swamp.

Parking and Trail Access

A gravel parking lot for the South Fork Rail-Trail can be found at the northern trailhead on Laboratory Road. Take Exit 20 (Lincolnton and High Shoals) off US 321 and turn left onto Gastonia Highway/Business US 321. After approximately 2.7 miles, turn left onto Southside Road, which quickly becomes Southfork Road. At Laboratory Road, turn right and cross the South Fork River. The parking lot is located on the right.

South Fork Rail-Trail Reviews

Trail is level and shady. Easy to ride. My only complaint is that there are two huge trees that have fallen across the trail and you have to literally pick your bike up and carry it over the fallen trees. Not sure who needs to know about this to get it cleaned up.

I was able to get nice pics of the South Fork, on this short trail. my cell reception for Verizon was not good. There is a longer trail along the south fork, that starts in McAdenville. that is not on trail link, that is longer than this one. great views from that trail.

We were very surprised at this little beauty of a trail. There is so much to look at and enjoy. It's an easy walk. Great places for photo ops along the way!


Easy to walk, nice wide trail. I wish it was a little longer

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