Looking for the ultimate three-day weekend? Look no further than Catawba County, where our three large-scale parks represent the ultimate “triple threat” for outdoor adventure in North Carolina: hiking, biking, and paddling. 

Bakers Mountain View

Hike Bakers Mountain ParkSituated at the highest elevation point in the county (1,780 feet), this 189-acre park’s easy-to-advanced trails are a haven for hikers and are often used as training ground for tackling the nearby Appalachian Trail. Ascend over creeks and through mature Chestnut Oak forest to a mountaintop observation deck with stunning year-round views that on a clear day extend for nearly 75 miles. Interested in leaf peeping? Autumn is an amazing time to witness the valley’s vibrant fall colors from here. No matter when you visit, the park’s natural landmarks, historical sites and small water feature are must-see spots along the way. 

Mountain Creek Park - Mountain Biking

Bike Mountain Creek Park. Mountain biking is at the heart of Mountain Creek, located on the northwestern tip of Lake Norman. Catawba County’s newest outdoor destination features a pump track and 20 miles of multi-use trails – including some that are bike-only – with enough connections and endless route combinations to ensure you rarely have to ride the same route twice. Find flow and catch air on the park’s technical, single-track trails, which cover diverse terrain and include technical features such as rollers, jumps and drops, steep downhills and sweeping turns. A kid-friendly “tot track” and a series of less technical trails (and a can’t-be-missed adventure playground!) offer adventures for the entire family.

Riverbend Park

Paddle Riverbend Park. Named after its idyllic location along the Catawba River shoreline, Riverbend’s trail system winds through three distinct habitats - riparian areas along banks of the river and numerous creeks, densely wooded upland forest, and preserved native grasslands. The park’s shoreline stretches along the Upper Catawba River Trail, an 82-mile blueway that runs from western North Carolina’s Lake James to Lake Lookout Shoals on the eastern edge of the county. Access the blueway via the park’s boat launch just below the Oxford Dam outlet to explore the tranquility and scenery of the Catawba River on a canoe, kayak or paddleboard. You’re likely to catch sight of resident turtles, aquatic birds, and even a bald eagle or two on your journey. 

Ready to get your adventure started? Our “triple threat” is here for you 7 days a week, 362 days a year (we’re closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day) – and luckily enough, it’s just the starting point for the ultimate three-day weekend in Catawba County. Learn more at catawbacountyparks.org and visithickorymetro.com.

Article published by Catawba County Parks.