Wilderness Gateway State Trail

About the trail

Scroll down for more information on public meeting dates and locations and to review and comment on the trail plan.

The Wilderness Gateway State Trail will meander through Catawba and Burke counties and along the border of Rutherford and McDowell counties. Part of this trail will include a paddle trail in Catawba County. The planned trail will connect Hickory Nut Gorge State Trail and South Mountains State Park with the towns of Valdese and Hickory. Part of the trail will follow the same route as the Overmountain Victory State Trail.

Each state trail is a unit of the state parks system and must be authorized by the General Assembly. When any new state trail is added to the system, the Division of Parks and Recreation engages in a planning process, including a feasibility study for the new trail. Effective planning is essential to determine a corridor for the trail and identify potential partners. Planning includes extensive data collection, outreach to potential partners, public input, and mapping of the trail corridor.

Constructed trail within the identified corridor is not part of the state trail until it is designated by the Secretary of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. All designation applications are evaluated by the North Carolina Trails Committee.

Planning process

The planning process for the state trail is underway.

Thank you to all that attended our public informational meetings. We had great meetings from January 14 to 16, with over 200 people attending to speak with us about the trail plan.

If you were unable to make it to one of the meetings, we would still like to hear from you, and you can provide comments until February 28, 2020. Please email the State Trails staff with your input on the study linked above.