In 2024, residents of Rutherford County will have a new way to play! Plans are in motion for the construction of Norris Recreation Complex, a 50-acre park that will include a disc golf course, hiking and biking trails, a picnic shelter, and other amenities.
The disc golf course will be the highlight of the enhancements currently being planned for the Norris Recreation Complex. With 18 holes and tee pads ranging from beginner to advanced levels, the course will welcome players of every level. At the Norris Recreation Complex, competitive disc golfers can challenge their skills and families can try the sport for the first time on a 21-hole par 3 beginner course.
"The courses we're designing will provide disc golf opportunities for all ages, no matter your ability," said Doug Barrick, the Town Manager of Rutherfordton. "It's a great way to get outside to spend quality time with the people you love."
Plentiful parking, as well as landscaping, restrooms, directional signs, and lighting will ensure that Norris Park is a comfortable and safe place for residents and visitors to enjoy. Sheltered picnic tables and both paved and unpaved paths will invite disc golfers to stay for a hike or a packed lunch after they finish their game.
The Town of Rutherfordton has contracted with Destination by Design (DbD), a Boone-based planning and design firm, to oversee the project. DbD will work with Ace Place a NC-based disc golf design company, to implement the course plan.
The acreage that will become Norris Park was originally developed as the Rutherfordton Golf Course in 1929 by Dr. Henry Norris. In the late thirties, Dr. Norris donated it to the town of Rutherfordton for use as a public golf course. But after decades of use, the level of play at the course gradually declined until it closed in late 2018.
This beautiful spot of land, with sloping hills, a stream, and hardwood and evergreen trees, has been unused for nearly five years. The Rutherfordton Town Council believed the property should continue to be a recreational asset for the citizens of Rutherfordton, and encouraged the public to join the conversation as a vision was created for this outdoor space.
Working together, the town council, local citizens, grantors, and other stakeholders, have crafted a plan that will serve as a broader influence than the park's previous use, and will expand the recreational opportunities for people of all ages and abilities.
Norris Recreation Complex is being funded by grants from the RHI Legacy Foundation, the North Carolina Parks and Recreation Trust Fund, and the Carolina Foothills Foundation, as well as support from the Rutherford County TDA and the Rutherford County Recreation Fund.
"Here in Rutherford County we love the outdoors, and this is just one more opportunity to get out there," said Adam Thomas, a member of the Town of Rutherfordton's Parks and Recreation Committee.