The Carolina Thread Trail is an extensive network of walking and hiking trails that stretches over a large area of North and South Carolina. It is composed of over 260 miles of trails and 170 miles of blueways and is one of the most extensive trails of its kind anywhere in the United States. The project is a massive collaboration of over 40 community and business leaders in the region, led by the Catawba Lands Conservancy agency.
The entire train runs over 15 counties in both North and South Carolina. In the North, it includes Stanly, Rowan, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, Anson, Catawba, Cabarrus, Cleveland, Iredell and Gaston. In the South, it passes by York, Lancaster, Cherokee and Chester in the South. It will eventually form a network that connects over 2.9 million people.
The Carolina Thread Trail, conceived out of the need to preserve the environmental integrity of the Carolinas, leads to cleaner air and improved water quality in the region. Many parts of the trail also serve as recreational areas for the locals, which is free for everyone to use.
As you can imagine, there are a lot of mini trails that run throughout this network. One of them is the Founders Trail, a 2.3-mile tree-lined path that follows along the Catawba River. The Andrew Jackson State Trail is a 1.1 portion of the Carolina Thread Trail that’s within the Andrew Jackson State Park. The park is named for Andrew Jackson, the 7th president of the United States. If you’re looking for a biking trail, there’s the Long Creek Trail, Seven Oaks Preserve Trail or the Falcon Trail. All in all, there are more than a thousand little individual segments in the entire trail network.