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South Fork Catawba Trail is a 3.9 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Mc Adenville, North Carolina that features a river and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 3.9 mi Elevation gain 114 ft Route type Out & Back

Dogs on leash

Kid friendly

Fishing

Hiking

Mountain biking

Nature trips

Walking

Running

Beach

Forest

River

Views

Wildlife

Bugs

Muddy

Waypoints (0)
Getting There

Note: Park in the parking lot at 119 Willow Drive, otherwise you’ll have to find an on-street parking spot at the other end of the trail.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (121)
Photos (95)
Recordings (82)
Completed (160)
Traci Levy
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HikingMuddy

Great trail for summer, as the shade really helps. We took the dog and it was great for her as well. One downside was close to a creek side area- looked as if some folks had broken bottles on the trail. I was concerned for the broken glass on the trail for my dogs paws. I did my best to sweep the trail clear with a stick, but I would use caution with dog paws or children who take shoes off at the rivers edge.

Megan Wilson
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 22, 2020
HikingBugsMuddyOver grown
View Megan's Recording
Jan E.
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HikingBugsGreat!Muddy

An easy walk along the South Fork of the Catawba which is the color of coffee with lots of cream. Good for dogs. Some nice spots with rocks for a scenic rest. Just off I- 85 so the beginning of the trail is noisy with traffic. Not many others on the trail.

Paige Wilson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 29, 2020
Hiking

Easy out and back trail with tons of shade. My 6 year old loved the river bank. It is scenic and the trail is wide and well marked.

Mary Ellen & Devin Biery
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HikingBugs

This was a pleasant two-hour hike for folks like us who aspire for to get into hiking more. I (M.E.) was pooped by the end but in a good way, and I haven’t done much the last few months, so most folks would be fine. Shaded trail that has some traffic but not enough to be annoying on a beautiful Saturday. Mostly flat, dry and has lots of nice views of the river. Park at 119 Willow Dr as others have suggested.

View Mary Ellen & Devin's Recording
Bill & Amanda Batterson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 1, 2020
Hiking

Good, easy trail, moderately trafficked on the weekend, as to be expected. Very shady trail with lots of great spots to stop and set up a hammock or have a picnic. Love the view of the river along the whole trail.

“Hiking Realtor” Charlotte
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 17, 2020
Hiking

This is a nice out and back easy trail, appropriate for all family members. Shady, mostly earth and sand trail tracing the beautiful Catawba River in McAdenville, NC ... just outside Charlotte. Park in the parking lot at 119 Willow Drive, otherwise you’ll have to find an on-street parking spot at the other end of the trail. Not many inclines so s good pair of sneakers will suffice. Bring your fishing pole, bike or kayak ... it’s all here. Nice for family outing.

View “Hiking Realtor”'s Recording
Raeven McCrodden
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 17, 2020
Hiking

Just getting into hiking and loved it! So peaceful and not congested! :)

View Raeven's Recording
Lauren Watkins
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 13, 2020
HikingBugs

Easy trail. Lots of bugs and muddy but easy in and out.

View Lauren 's Recording
Ashley Dulin
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HikingMuddy

Beautiful!!! Kids loved it, dog loved it. Peaceful

View Ashley's Recording
tom s.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 8, 2020
Hiking

Use 119 Willow dr to park

View tom's Recording
Sean Kendall
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HikingMuddy

As someone new to NC, I am scoping out places to kayak and hike. This had both and the river looked awesome. Very easy, flat, and easy to follow trail makes it great for beginners. Not much in terms scenery beyond normal river and hiking combinations so that is why I have it a 4 but I will definitely be back!

View Sean's Recording
Michelle Minichino
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HikingMuddy

Ok trail. Muddy in spots. Watch for the barb wire near trailhead.

View Michelle's Recording
Don Culton
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HikingBlowdownMuddy
View Don's Recording
Fabian Pastrana
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Muddy
Morgen Houchard
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Hiking

Nice easy trail for hiking or biking. We hiked from McAdenville side to the end in Lowell and back. A little more than 4 miles. Saw only 5 others and the trail was in good condition. Some wet conditions near the beginning but nothing that could not be navigated. Certainly recommend for a quick outdoor hike.

Jimmy Poag
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarOctober 10, 2019
Hiking

Trail is in great shape once you get under I-85 and closer to the river. It is plenty wide and does not have many exposed roots. It is an easy flat walk with gentle elevation changes.

James Harris
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Hiking

Great beginner trail to take my wife Out and spend a couple hours together.. I would recommend this trail for biking and running...

Jeb Stevens
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 23, 2019

Not very busy on a Sunday afternoon. Mostly flat ground with one creek you've got to rock hop over.

Courtney Whitley
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HikingMuddy
View Courtney's Recording
Tiffany Pursley
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HikingRocky

The parking lot is in a sketchy looking area for parents or women walking alone. Pay careful attention as lots of rocks and roots cross the trail. Very close to I 85 and lots of noise for first half mile. Good adventure for our dog and young son.

Jency Chestnutt
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 22, 2018

what a greAt trail to take family out on bikes. the trail runs beside the river and gives a beautiful view. I love this trail and cant wait to go back.

Sayf Albayati
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Hiking

Half a star out of 5.

Theo Thomson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 2, 2018

We walked a couple of miles of this trail, turned back in rain, which of course cleared up quickly. Great views of the South Fork River, currently very high and muddy with floodwater. Saw a snake too, a young Eastern King Snake, which makes it an awesome hike!

Travis Clark
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarApril 1, 2018

Fairly flat, natural surface trail along side a dirty brown south fork river. Would be good for a soft surface easy trail run or easy mountain biking. Pros-- peaceful, natural surface, easy. Cons -- do not use directions link from alltrails as it'll say you are at the location on I-85. use the addresses listed on another review (i used 300 Dickson rd, mcadenville) No benches, waste baskets, or dog bags along trail Normally a riverside trail sounds nice, except this river is dirty brown. I'll go back sometime for a short dog walk or trail run, but for others I wouldn't recommend going out of your way for this trail.

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