Experiencing Rutherford County's Greenways

Rutherford County is home to a myriad of walking, hiking, and biking options, including easy-going rides along area Greenways. The Rutherford Bound Master Plan continues to build and improve opportunities for both residents and visitors to enjoy outdoor recreation opportunities for all ages and skill levels.

Purple Martin Greenway

For hikers and cyclists looking for a pleasant, easy trip (or for families with young children), the Purple Martin Greenway (PMG) is the perfect place to explore wildlife, creeks, waterfalls, and local plant life along the two-mile, paved trail. The PMG is kid, pet, and bike friendly and features shady trails and a picnic shelter alongside Cleghorn Creek. The Greenway connects Kiwanis Park and Crestview Park and runs parallel to Main Street in downtown Rutherfordton, NC.

Image Credit: Town of Rutherfordton, NC

Thermal Belt Rail Trail (TBRT)

What began a decade ago as a grassroots effort to develop a Rail Trail along the out-of-service Old Southern Railway tracks has now emerged as a popular 13.5 mile paved trail spanning four municipalities, thanks to a concerted community effort from Rutherford County. Currently, as part of the Rutherford Bound initiative, the Rutherford County Tourism Development Authority is working to provide extensive enhancements along the Thermal Belt Rail Trail, including public art and gateways inviting users to visit the various communities along the trail, improved aesthetics, additional landscaping, pocket parks and more.

Visitors to the TBRT enjoy a flat path with numerous access points along the trail, allowing users to either choose a short journey or complete the entire 27-mile round trip. A natural canopy provides lots of shade along the way and seven devoted parking areas ensure a seamless transition onto the trail. Recently, the Thermal Belt Rail Trail was featured on PBS: North Carolina Weekend as an example of how Rail Trails can connect communities and engage citizens.

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