Breathe in the fresh mountain air while hiking through a lush state forest, canoeing down a winding river, or rock climbing in a recreational area. You can do all this and more in the Hickory Metro year-round. So grab your family and friends, choose your adventure, and prepare for a memorable experience in our vibrant corner of Western North Carolina.
Scenic Parks & Trails
The highest point in Catawba County — 1,780 feet in elevation, to be exact — Bakers Mountain Park provides a perfect outdoor escape, plus jaw-dropping views. Explore the almost six miles of hiking trails, and afterward, check out the incredible sights from the observation tower before enjoying a picnic lunch at a park pavilion. Read all about our Catawba County Park System: Outdoor Heaven in our blog.
More spectacular views and activities await inside the 12,000-acre Linville Gorge Wilderness Area in Morganton, part of the Pisgah National Forest. Pay a visit to the area waterfall, explore the flowing river, and partake in outdoor activities like hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, fishing, and camping.
On The Waterfront
Along the Catawba River Greenway in Morganton, enjoy countless activities, like hiking along the paved trail and fishing at your pier of choice. The river itself runs through both the Carolinas and is more than 200 miles long.
Soon enough, there’ll be another must-see attraction along the Catawba River, the Riverwalk. The outdoor attraction, currently under construction, will feature elevated trails that wind around tall trees, go over waterways, and connect to other trails within the Hickory Trail project, including City Walk, another project near completion. The Riverwalk will also provide access to Lake Hickory.
Our region is home to several large lakes used as reservoirs along the river and open to recreational activities, like boating and fishing. Lake Hickory, for instance, is north of its namesake city and is more than 4,000 acres large, featuring 100 miles of shoreline. Go on a dinner cruise or private charter with Lake Hickory Adventures, and explore the pristine lake.
Make It Yours
For a family bonding experience, spend a day at an obstacle course, many of which feature zip lining, from Treetop Adventures on Lake Hickory in Conover, to Beanstalk Ziplines in Morganton, which features a network of five zip lines more than 30 feet above the ground. The Beanstalk attraction also has several obstacle courses, including one for smaller kids.
While enjoying our outdoor attractions, we want you to feel at home and leave it better than you found it. For more on our Leave No Trace initiatives with Outdoor NC, click here.
After vacationing in our region and experiencing our great outdoors, you’ll not only feel more connected to nature but also to your loved ones.