Corporate Trailheads

Supporting trails and greenways is a smart investment for our region’s future.

The Carolina Thread Trail’s sustainability depends on the support of everyone in a community – town municipality, individual community members, organizations and groups, as well as corporations and local businesses who work and live in the neighborhood.

Corporate Trailheads are those businesses who are engaged in the health and well-being of their community.  They care about the overall wellness of the land, people and economy in their area.  This grassroots group of businesses furthers not only the Carolina Thread Trail network but also strengthens their towns and the people who work and play in the place they call home.

If your business wants to take the next step to making this region a better place to live, work and play, become a Corporate Trailhead!Corporate-Trailheads-Membership-Table-20150817


Thank you to our current Corporate Trailheads

Whole Foods Logo images logo

Jesse Brown’s Outdoors

Mountain Khakis


Blue Ridge Trail Works, Inc.

Custom McSpadden Homes

Design Center of the Carolinas

Walton Development


Try Sports


U.S. National Whitewater Center

Natural Resource Group

Kimley-Horn and Associates


Arborguard Tree Specialists

Benchmark Trails Inc.


Trail Design Specialists

Girl Scouts Hornets Nest Council Brixx


Fall Events and Trail Pairings

12 Mile Creek Trail-Nov 2014_27 (2)

Octobers calls to mind many images. Orange and red hues, leaf piles, apple cider, carved pumpkins and early morning frosts. It is a month filled with clear skies and seasonal fun—perfect for being outdoors. Below you’ll find a list of fall events near Carolina Thread Trail segments so that you can make the most of your outings and experience all that the region has to offer!

Note: Some of these events require the purchase of admission and/or goods.

12 Mile Creek Trail-Nov 2014_27 (2)1-DSC_0019

  1. The Riverbend Farm in Midland, NC opens its doors every weekend in October to the public. You can pick pumpkins, go on a wagon ride, feed farm animals, and much more! During your visit to the farm, go on walk on the Riverbend Farm Trail. This trail begins at the farm and follows the Rocky River for 0.9 miles.



  1. The Anne Springs Close Greenway also  holds its Fall Frolic festival every weekend in October. It features a pumpkin patch, corn maze, horse rides, and a variety of other activities. Take in the fall colors and views of the Greenway while walking along the Blue Star Trail.



  1. For history buffs, the Upstate Revolutionary War Weekend is IMG_1610scheduled from October 2nd-7th. There is a full schedule including a firearms show, living history encampments, and the Festifall battle and colonial-era reenactments. This festival location overlaps with two Carolina Thread Trails: Overmountain Victory Trail: Cowpens National Battlefield and the Gateway Trail at Kings Mountain. Explore these trails and imagine yourself hiking and exploring just like the colonists and soldiers did during the Revolutionary War.


  1. The U.S. National Whitewater Center celebrates the end of the Long Creek Trail croppedpaddling season on October 10th with their Fall Finale. Bike or run along the Long Creek Trail, a part of the Whitewater Center, and then cool off while listening to folk artists and sipping on cider.



  1. Last but not least, on October 24th, the Daniel Stowe Botanical daniel-stowe-exhibit-024Garden hosts Bootanical. Get in the spirit of the season by wearing a costume and participating in themed activities. The Botanical Garden connects to the Seven Oaks Trail, one of our more popular trails with beautiful views of Lake Wylie. Did you know that trees near water change color first? See it here

Fall into the Thread


FITT_EMAILThursday, October 8
6-8:30 pm
Jesse Brown’s Outdoors
4732 Sharon Road, Charlotte

Join your fellow trail enthusiasts to celebrate the cooler and colorful outdoor season for hiking, biking and paddling! The evening features live music, local beer, wine, hors d’oeuvres and sponsor gifts. Plus, meet special guest Jennifer Pharr Davis, the female Appalachian Trail supported thru-hike record holder! The evening’s host, Jesse Brown’s, is a local outdoor retailer and Trailheads Founding Corporate Partner.


  • Annual Trailheads Membership and T-shirt
  • $10 gift card to Jesse Brown’s
  • Local beer by Lenny Boy Brewing Co.
  • Wine and hors d’oeuvers from Whole Foods Market
  • Live bluegrass music
  • Jennifer Pharr Davis presentation “The Extra Mile – Exploring the Limits of Endurance”

Advance registration is requested for all attendees. Purchase your admission online or call (704) 376-2556 x215.

$25 – 1 admission & Hiker Trailheads Membership
$50 – 2 admissions & Trekker Trailheads Membership
$100 – 4 admissions & Trailblazer Trailheads Membership
FREE – Current Trekker and Trailblazer Trailheads Members; Registration required (see below).

learn more

Current members at the Trekker-level ($50) and up must register in advance online or call (704) 376-2556 x215.

Trekker Trailheads – 2 free admissions
Trailblazer Trailheads – 4 free admissions
Greenway Gals – 4 free admissions

Current Hiker level Trailheads can purchase any admission choice which will extend your membership an additional year.

Unsure of your membership level or if yours is current? View a list of all active 2015 Trailheads members as of August.

learn more


       JesseBrownsOvalVECTORLogo_edited-1 PNG  Lenny Boy Brewing Co.


Trailheads is a grassroots affiliate group who support the development of the Carolina Thread Trail in this region. The trail network will link 2.3 million people in 15 counties throughout North and South Carolina via greenways, natural surface trails and blueways (rivers). Trailheads enjoy the trails, volunteer and advocate for the health of this region through outdoor recreation, natural spaces and connection to nature. Through the enthusiasm of its members, Trailheads is an integral part of Thread Trail’s future. Learn more about Trailheads. 

Carolina Thread Trail Membership Table 20150817

REI Grant Funding Will Expand Thread Trail in Fort Mill

Trail users along Piedmont Medical Center Trail at Riverwalk in Fort Mill, SC
Trail users along Piedmont Medical Center Trail at Riverwalk in Fort Mill, SC

Trail users along Piedmont Medical Center Trail at Riverwalk in Fort Mill, SC

Carolina Thread Trail receives $15,000
grant to fund new riverside trail


Charlotte, N.C. – Fort Mill, S.C., residents will soon be able to enjoy a new 1.3-mile trail along the Catawba River thanks to grant funding awarded to the Carolina Thread Trail. A $15,000 grant from REI will be used to build the natural surface trail, which will connect to Piedmont Medical Center Trail at Riverwalk, a 2.3-mile paved Thread Trail located across the Catawba River in Rock Hill, S.C.

The Thread Trail will hire a contractor to build the trail and will oversee construction. The land and conservation easement for the new trail is being secured through Catawba Lands Conservancy and Nation Ford Land Trust.

“REI continues to be an amazing partner for the Carolina Thread Trail and this grant enables us to preserve nature and offer more outdoor recreational opportunities in an area that is developing quickly,” said Tom Okel, executive director of the Carolina Thread Trail.

“Building upon the success of the Riverwalk Trail, which sees about 10,000 users a month, this project will allow runners, walkers and bikers to enjoy a longer distance path for exercise and outdoor exploration,” said Okel.

The trail project is a part of the Thread Trail’s “North-South Spine,” a critical 120-mile planned trail corridor that will stretch from Statesville, N.C., to Great Falls, S.C. The creation of a signature, long-distance trail for the region is one the Thread Trail’s top priorities. With 37 miles of this corridor complete, the Thread Trail continues to work with communities to complete remaining segments.

There are currently three segments of Thread Trail open in Fort Mill: Baxter Village Trail, Blue Star Trail at Anne Springs Close Greenway and Nation Ford Greenway. To learn more about these and other Carolina Thread Trails, visit

In 2014, REI awarded the Thread Trail a $15,000 grant to build a trail and kayak and canoe launch along the Rocky River in Midland, N.C. The launch is part of a planned 60-mile blueway, or paddle trail that will stretch across 4 counties in North Carolina.

In additon, REI will partner with the Thread Trail in support of National Public Lands Day Volunteer Trail Workday at Buffalo Creek Preserve in Mount Pleasant, NC on Sept. 26. For more information, click here.


About The Carolina Thread Trail
The Carolina Thread Trail (The Thread) is a 15-county, two-state initiative designed to create a regional network of trails, blueways and conservation corridors that would link more than 2.3 million citizens. With technical resources and catalytic funding from The Thread, local communities plan and implement their portions of this greenway system. The Carolina Thread Trail region includes Anson, Cabarrus, Catawba, Cleveland, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, Rowan, Stanly and Union counties within North Carolina and Cherokee, Chester, Lancaster and York counties in South Carolina. Catawba Lands Conservancy is the lead agency for The Thread, which is working in partnership with Foundation For The Carolinas and many local partners. Currently, 220 miles of The Thread are open to the public. For more information, visit

About REI
REI is a national outdoor specialty retailer and the nation’s largest consumer co-op with 5.5 million active members. In addition to its own line of high-quality award-winning gear and apparel, REI offers products from the top brands for camping, climbing, cycling, fitness, hiking, paddling, snow sports and travel. While anyone may join or shop at REI, members pay a one-time $20 membership fee, receive voting privileges to elect REI’s board of directors and share in the co-op’s profits through an annual member refund based on their purchases.

Headquartered outside Seattle in Kent, Wash., REI is recognized as a leading multi-channel retailer with 140 stores in 33 states; telephone and mail-order operations; two online stores – and – and an adventure travel company, REI Adventures.

REI partners with local nonprofit organizations to preserve and maintain trails, waterways and parks where community members enjoy the outdoors. Partnerships include event promotion, gear donations and financial contributions. This year REI will invest $5.9 million in local communities to help care for outdoor spaces


Rowan County Joins Carolina Thread Trail, Final County to Adopt Trail Master Plan

Granite Lake Park Trail

County Commissioners Vote 3-2 in Favor
of Joining Regional Trail Network

Granite Lake Park Trail

Granite Lake Park Trail, Town of Granite Quarry

Salisbury, N.C. – The Rowan County Board of Commissioners voted today to officially join the Carolina Thread Trail, making Rowan County the 15th and final county to formally adopt the Thread Trail master plan for its community.

All 10 municipalities in Rowan County, as well as Gold Hill, have already formally adopted the 108-mile trail master plan. The adoption of the plan by the Board of Commissioners was the final step in solidifying the Carolina Thread Trail’s future in Rowan County.

“This is a huge milestone for the Carolina Thread Trail,” said Executive Director Tom Okel. “Now all 15 counties in North and South Carolina that were conceived as part of the Thread Trail network have declared their intentions to join this regional trail initiative.”

Support for the Thread Trail in Rowan County has also been bolstered by a generous gift earmarked for that county by Carolina Thread Trail board member Ed Weisiger, Jr., the president and CEO of Carolina CAT.

The planning process for Rowan County began in 2013, when the Town of Landis, on behalf of all Rowan County communities, received a grant from the Thread Trail to develop a countywide greenway master plan identifying Thread Trail corridors.

In the same year, a steering committee of local staff and citizens was formed to lead and supervise the planning effort. The outcome of the planning process was a greenway master plan that outlines a means for long-term coordination of greenway and trail development to help promote the preservation and improvement of residents’ quality of life. The master plan calls for trails to connect destinations such as historic downtown Salisbury, Dan Nicholas Park and the North Carolina Transportation Museum.

The Rowan County Health Department recently issued a report citing the Carolina Thread Trail as a way to improve the health of its residents, who suffer from greater death rates than the state average among all of the top 10 leading causes, including cancer, chronic lower respiratory disease, pneumonia and flu, kidney diseases and whole-body infections.

By publicly adopting the Thread Trail master plan, Rowan County is now eligible to receive grants from the Thread Trail. The competitive grants are awarded quarterly to communities and nonprofit organizations to assist with trail corridor planning, land acquisition, construction and trail amenities. To date, the Thread Trail has awarded more than $4.5 million to communities through the region.

The final trail routes of the Carolina Thread Trail through the Rowan County communities consists of 107.8 miles of trails located along stream/river corridors, road right-of-ways, abandoned rail lines, utility easements, undeveloped land, and bike routes. Almost half of the recommended trails are located along existing road right-of-ways (51.3 miles), while the next highest trail type is along stream/river corridors (19.0 miles), mostly along Grant’s Creek. A total of 69.7 miles of blueways have also been identified along the Yadkin and South Yadkin Rivers and their tributaries.

Rowan County Thread Trail segments will be built over time as local communities plan and fund their trails and work with neighbors to target points of connection. The master plan integrates existing trails, such as Salisbury Greenway and Gold Hill Rail Trail, with additional greenway or trail segments that will together create a comprehensive multi-use network for connecting people, places and destinations to each other and surrounding counties. The trail routes depicted in the plan illustrate connections between destinations, but not precise routes, as exact routes will be determined over time based on an ongoing dialogue with the community and interested landowners.

Rowan County CTT Master Plan


About The Carolina Thread Trail

The Carolina Thread Trail is a 15-county, two-state initiative designed to create a regional network of trails, blueways and conservation corridors that would link more than 2.3 million citizens. With technical resources and catalytic funding from the Thread Trail, local communities plan and implement their portions of this greenway system. The Carolina Thread Trail region includes Anson, Cabarrus, Catawba, Cleveland, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, Rowan, Stanly and Union counties within North Carolina and Cherokee, Chester, Lancaster and York counties in South Carolina. Catawba Lands Conservancy is the lead agency for the Thread Trail, which is working in partnership with Foundation For The Carolinas and many local partners. Currently, 220 miles of Thread Trail are open to the public. For more information, visit

Catawba Corps and Trailheads Paddle June 13

Rocky River Blueway
Saturday, June 13 | 9-11:30 a.m.
9111 Mount Pleasant Road South
Midland, N.C.

Members of Catawba Corps and Trailheads at the Trailblazer level are invited to a 4.5-mile guided paddle along the Rocky River Blueway. The paddle will start at CLC’s Pharr Family Preserve and end 4.5 miles downriver at Riverbend Farm.

Space is limited; advance registration required.

Become a member of Catawba Corps or Trailheads today and join us for this members-only excursion!

Rocky River Blueway

Rocky-River-volunteers_010-(2)On this stretch of the Rocky River Blueway, experience a Piedmont floodplain forest habitat. Over 50 species of birds call this area home including some imperiled species.

Paddlers may also hear the calls of the Cope’s gray tree frogs, cricket frogs, spring peepers and upland chorus frogs or see over 10 species of butterflies like the Carolina satyr. The shoreline is trimmed with numerous floodplain trees, including bitternut hickory, cottonwood, swamp chestnut oak and black walnut.

Photo: Rocky River Blueway in Midland, N.C. Photo by Nancy Pierce


Sorry, this event is closed. We hope you can join us for our next outing!

Trail Opening: Catawba Nation Greenway Trail


Saturday, September 27 | 12 p.m.
Catawba Cultural Center
1536 Tom Steven Road
Rock Hill, SC 29730

IMG_5283Join us for the grand opening of a new segment of Thread Trail at the Catawba Indian Nation. Following a ribbon-cutting ceremony and remarks, join us for a guided nature walk along the new Catawba Nation Greenway Trail, a 2.2-mile out and back natural surface trail that follows the Catawba River.

While you’re here, explore the history and culture of the Catawbas with a visit to the Catawba Cultural Center. From the nearby Cultural Center Trail, visitors can view a Catawba dwelling, a bark house, dugout trees, story circle and an active archeological dig. 

A volunteer work day at 9 a.m. precedes the opening festivities with REI (Recreational Equipment Inc.) presenting a $15,000 grant check to support our volunteer efforts and development of river access points in 2014/2015. Learn more about volunteering.

R.Y. McAden Canoe and Kayak Launch Now Open

Spencer Mountain River Access Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting
Spencer Mountain River Access Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting

Photo by Nancy Pierce

R.Y. McAden Canoe and Kayak Launch
119 Willow Drive
McAdenville, NC 28101

The newly constructed R.Y. McAden Canoe and Kayak  Launch along the South Fork Catawba River officially opened to the public on Friday, July 11. The launch is one of five access points for paddle recreation on the South Fork Catawba River in Gaston County. The 8.4-mile South Fork River Blueway starts at Spencer Mountain and continues downriver to the Town of Cramerton.

The river is home to a variety of wildlife, including great blue herons, osprey, bald eagles and deer. Paddlers along this stretch of the South Fork will experience some of the most ecologically diverse lands in the region. Learn more.

Funding for the launch was generously provided by the W. Duke Kimbrell Family Foundation, Pamela K. Warlick Fund, McAdenville Women’s Club and Community Foundation of Gaston County. The land for the access area was made available by Pharr Yarns, LLC.

New Group Connects Women to The Thread!

greenway gals 2

greenway gals 0Do you want to be a part of a wonderful community project that’s connecting people to people, neighborhood to neighborhood and North Carolina to South Carolina while helping to make our region a leader in conservation and outdoor recreation? If so, the Greenways Gals are looking for you!

The Greenway Gals is a group of women who will get together to hike and kayak several times a year along the Carolina Tgreenway gals 1hread Trail (The Thread)! It will be a fun way to experience the outdoors as well as support the mission of The Thread – an extremely exciting project that is going to improve our community and region with a permanent system of trails, greenways and blueways that will link 15 counties and 2 states!

The membership fee is $250 per person. Greenway Gals believe in investing in The Thread to keep our greenway gals 2region healthy by encouraging physical activity and exploring nature through walking, hiking and kayaking. Click the donate button below to become a Greenway Gals member!