In the spirit of Thanksgiving, November is an ideal time to show gratitude. As North Carolina continues to celebrate 2023 as the Year of the Trail, this month we show gratitude for the great trails in our state as well as those closer to home, right here in Catawba County, where we are fortunate to have over 45 miles of trails across our four county parks encompassing nearly 1,500 total acres of preserved natural habitat. We also extend a heartfelt thanks to the stewards of our outdoor spaces, including our rangers and visitors, and all those who contribute to the beautification, preservation and upkeep of our parks.
We asked a few of our Catawba County Park System enthusiasts to share with us what they love about the trails, and here is what they said:
- “We are so fortunate to have such beautiful, well-maintained parks here in Catawba County. Bakers Mountain is one of my favorite places to be, but I also love Riverbend and the new Mountain Creek Park. My schedule stays very busy, so living in such close proximity to so many great nature trails that offer a quick escape without having to travel too far is a true necessity for my mental health. Thank you to our parks team for our service to our community!” – Ingrid
- “I love all things with bicycles! Mountain biking is my true love that I always come back to. In fact, I moved to this area to be closer to the mountains again and for quality mountain bike experiences. Trails have changed so much since I was hooked in the late 80s, and Catawba County Parks have done right by providing trails for all types of enthusiasts. From Riverbend Park to Mountain Creek Park and all the others in between, trail riding and mountain biking has truly become a family activity or an extreme adventure; take your pick and you’re bound to find the fit for you. When you’re out there, you will always hear people say, ‘I’m glad I got out of bed for this,’ ‘I wish everyone could see and feel what I’m experiencing right here, right now,’ or ‘There is no better feeling than this!’ So I say, hats off to the great work of those who plan, build and maintain the great trails of North Carolina and specifically Catawba County.” – Lance
- “There is nothing like hitting the trails with the loamy pine-scented fresh air. It takes my mind off everything else and lets me challenge myself physically. No matter how hard the hike is, I return to my car feeling more exuberant than when I started. My favorite Catawba County Park is Riverbend; there is so much different scenery and terrain that it’s never the same hike twice. It’s also my four-legged hiking buddy’s favorite park. A big THANK YOU to the friendly rangers who keep the trails clear and well maintained so that I feel safe bringing her.” - Jennifer
- “Mountain Creek Park is my home away from home. I visit the park 4-5 days a week for the pristine mountain bike trails they provide to the community. The park rangers and staff care deeply about the maintenance of the park and providing an excellent experience. If you have not been there, I urge you to spend a day and enjoy the beauty of the park.” – AJ
- “The trails are where I go to still my mind, think through problems, exercise my body and recharge my soul. I love the trails at Bakers Mountain Park. There are some serious hills; I can come here and get elevation training for my trail runs. The scenery is beautiful. You can say Bakers Mountain has my heart. However many times I visit, I think I fall in love with it more each time. It is like an old friend always ready to greet you with a smile and open arms.” - Denise
- “We have been coming to the dog park at St. Stephens Park for the past three years. It makes me happy that my dogs have space to run and an opportunity to play with other dogs. For me, it's a very peaceful place; I love having a nice serene place to come at the end of a busy day. It's a beautiful park!” - Michell
- “Mountain Creek Park is amazing. They have mountain bike trails for all skill levels, from entry-level riders to fast cross country, not to mention trails with features including jumps and drops. The park rangers put a lot of effort into keeping the trails pristine for both hikers and mountain bikers, and are very friendly.” – Andy
This November, and year-round, let's ride, hike, walk, paddle, and climb with gratitude and tread lightly on the paths that connect us to nature. Immerse yourself in Catawba County’s great outdoors at these four parks in the Catawba County Park System (Bakers Mountain Park, Mountain Creek Park, Riverbend Park and St. Stephens Park) and at any of the other 50+ parks across Catawba County. Learn more at catawbacountyparks.org.