2023 is the Year of the Trail in Rutherford County!

2023 NC Year of the Trail celebrates North Carolina's vast network of trails, greenways, and blueways which showcase our diverse landscapes - grand mountain vistas, quiet rivers, vibrant urban greenways, coastal forests, and the rolling hills of the piedmont. Rutherford County is proud to participate in this statewide effort -- and is kicking off 2023 by celebrating NC First Day Outdoors, an event encouraging everyone to get outside and try a trail!

Lake Lure & the Blue Ridge Foothills is inviting everyone to participate in their First Day Outdoors contest by getting outside on one of the amazing trails Rutherford County has to offer (like the Thermal Belt Rail Trail, Purple Martin Greenway, Buffalo Creek Park, or Broad River Paddle Trail). All you have to do is pick your trail, pick your activity, snap a picture, and tag @visitlakelureblueridgenc (IG) or @LakeLureBRF (FB) when you post it. Walking, biking, hiking, running, horseback riding, and even paddling are all acceptable trail activities.

You can also participate in Chimney Rock State Park's First Day Hike and kick off the new year at Chimney Rock State Park. A Park Ranger will offer an informative discussion about the Park's history while the group strolls, hikes, or bikes up to the 3.2-mile entrance road. Usually restricted to motor vehicle traffic only, there will be no cars in your way if you show up for this special, early morning hike.

Jan. 1st, 2023, 8-10am | Chimney Rock State Park Entrance | Old Rock Cafe 431 Main Street Chimney Rock, NC 28720

How to Enter the Contest:

  • You must get outside on a trail on January 1st, 2023.
  • Take a picture of your trail activity.
  • Post it and tag @visitncsmalltowns on Instagram or @LakeLureBRF on Facebook.
  •  Don't forget to set your IG profile or FB post to public so that we can see it!
  • Bonus entry: Hashtag #yearofthetrail in your post

Five winners will be chosen to receive a Rutherford County Tourism Development Authority canvas tote swag bag that includes:

  • $10 Hope House Coffee Gift Card
  • Water Bottle
  • Sticker
  • Magnet
  • AND, one of the following (chosen at random):
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