The Rutherford County TDA is expanding opportunities on the Broad River paddle trail by creating two new public access areas that will allow for comfortable, safe, legal use of the river. The County is now beginning the planning and engineering process for these two access areas.
Access areas located at US 221 and US 221A in the southern portion of the County will provide river users with another user-friendly 4 mile paddle. For more adventurous folks, these sites will create a 14-18 mile trip from the existing Gray’s and Coxe Road accesses.
When complete, the Broad River Paddle Trail will span nearly 41 miles within Rutherford County from Lake Lure Dam/Island Creek Road to the Duke Energy Plant at Cliffside. In order to provide multiple recreational opportunities along the river, public access areas should be spaced at regular intervals to allow use of different sections of the river.
Only two developed public access points currently exist on the trail at Gray’s and Coxe Roads, a 4.8 mile section of the river. Development of additional public river accesses along the trail will provide more accessibility for paddlers, anglers, and other river users, creating a significant natural asset that flows through the heart of Rutherford County
The new US-221 Access Area will be on NCDOT property north of the river, where the US-221 bridge crosses. Public access will be from US-221 South. The project scope will include an approximately 575-foot access road with a turn-around circle, ten vehicle parking spaces, two trailer parking spaces, a kiosk, an entry sign, and river entry steps.
The US-221A Access Area will be located on Duke Energy property north of the river, where the US-221A bridge crosses, 4 miles downstream of the planned US-221 access. Public access will be from US-221A North. The overall project scope will include nine parking spaces, two trailer parking spaces, approximately 300 feet of river access trail, kiosk, entry sign, and river entry steps.
With funding support from the Duke Energy Foundation, RHI Legacy Foundation, NC Department of Environmental Quality, and the federal Recreational Trails Program, and general support from Duke Energy, NC Wildlife Resources Commission, NC Department of Transportation, and Rutherford Outdoor Coalition
The Broad River Paddle Trail project will provide visitors with additional outdoor recreation opportunities in combination with the other natural assets in the County. It will also provide health and wellness, environmental awareness, economic impact, and quality of life benefits for residents.