Recreational Activities in Gaston County

Published Monday, April 8, 2013
by MMiller

Gaston County NC is home to about fourteen incorporated towns and cities and celebrated as the region’s outdoor adventure sport capital. Towns within Gaston County provide a variety of lodging accommodations for visitors including rustic cabins, luxury vacation condo rentals, and hotels. Gaston County contained within a region known as North Carolina’s Piedmont area and has a host of scenic, natural resources.

The area’s mountains, rivers, and lakes lend the perfect setting for year round outdoor adventure.

Outdoor Adventure Activities

Although this region is packed with outdoor sporting event venues and festivals, these spectator sports pale in comparison to the thrilling excitement surrounding Gaston County’s natural resources.

For example, most outdoor adventure activities in Gaston County center around the Crowders Mountain State Park, the U.S. National Whitewater Center, and the Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens. Whether one’s interest is land or water sport activities, the county has something for everyone.

Crowders Mountain State Park

One of North Carolina’s best features is its well run state park system, and Crowders Mountain State Park is the crown jewel of the Piedmont region’s state parks. The varied topography of the area provide visitors with breathtaking views of mountains, cliffs, and valleys. The park’s famed Crowders Mountain towers above 1,600 feet in height and gives visitors a panoramic view of the Piedmont from the county’s second highest point.

Long before it became a choice locale for nature enthusiasts, the area was the hunting grounds of the historic Catawba and Cherokee Native Americans. After European settlers discovered the region’s mineral wealth and gold, mining activities caused damaging changes to the environment. Although buffalo have long since disappeared from the area, state park and volunteer caretakers help ensure protection of the remaining wildlife and ecology. It is not uncommon to see native raptors soaring past the park’s cliffs to capture their next meal.

Also, the park has well situated paths and hiking trails so that visitors may enjoy the area’s natural beauty with minimal impact to the ecological balance. Besides hiking and biking activities, the park conducts entertaining and educational events year-round. The park’s lake is a source of enjoyment for many of its visitors. Park officials provide reasonably priced canoe rentals, and fishing remains a popular past time for those with the proper license.

U.S. National Whitewater Center

Located near Gaston County, the U.S. National Whitewater Center created a place for recreational activities including whitewater rafting, biking trials, outdoor climbing facility and more. The center sits on the edge of the Catawba river surrounded by beautiful woodlands. The activities and environment at the center is so challenging for sports enthusiasts that Olympic candidates, military units, and a host of government agencies use the facility to conduct training.

Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens

The Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens offers slightly tamer outdoor adventures than those found at Crowders Mountain State Park and the National Whitewater Center. Visitors explore the gardens year-round to discover seasonal floral treasures. The beautifully situated gardens include lush meadows and lakefront views that provide a pleasing backdrop for the attractively displayed foliage. Also, it takes more than a few visits to cover all 400 acres of the lovely gardens.

With this abundance of recreational opportunities, residents enjoy a world-class quality of life with small-town charm. Contact Gaston County EDC for more information about the county parks, trails, lakes, rivers and other popular activities offered year round.

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