Division of Parks and Recreation Seeks Public Input on Wilderness Gateway State Trail Plan


The Division of Parks and Recreation is seeking public input on the Wilderness Gateway State Trail plan. When finalized, it will guide project stakeholders as they refine the planned corridor and build the trail. 

The trail will connect Chimney Rock State Park to locations in Catawba County as well as the Overmountain Victory State Trail, the Town of Valdese, and South Mountain game lands and state park. When complete, the trail will traverse Rutherford, McDowell, Burke and Catawba counties. 

The plan is being developed by the division with input from officials from the four counties, major towns in the corridor, Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina and Conserving Carolinas Land Conservancy, among others. It will identify opportunities, challenges, trail section sponsors and stakeholders along the trail corridor. 

Drop-in style open house meetings to receive public input will be held on Jan. 14, 15 and 16 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the following locations:

Jan. 14 
Rutherfordton County Administration Office 
289 N. Main St. 
Rutherfordton, N.C. 28139 

Jan. 15
South Mountains State Park 
3001 South Mountains Park Ave 
Connelly Springs, N.C. 28612 

Jan. 16 
Catawba County Government Center 
25 Government Drive 
Newton, N.C. 28658

Members of the public are encouraged to attend and can expect to spend about 20 minutes to review, discuss, and comment on the planned trail corridor. 

If inclement weather is anticipated for any of the meetings, a weather-related notice will be posted on the Wilderness Gateway State Trail planning webpage at https://trails.nc.gov/state-trails/wilderness-gateway-state-trail.

About North Carolina State Parks 
North Carolina State Parks manages more than 237,000 acres of iconic landscape within North Carolina’s state parks, state recreation areas and state natural areas. It administers the N.C Parks and Recreation Trust Fund, including its local grants program, as well as a state trails program, North Carolina Natural and Scenic Rivers and more, all with a mission dedicated to conservation, recreation and education. The state parks system welcomes more than 18 million visitors annually.