About ROC


Promoting Outdoor Recreation in Rutherford County, North Carolina

Rutherford Outdoor Coalition, created in 2003, is a non-profit organization founded to promote and expand outdoor recreation in Rutherford County, NC. The group began as a way to bring together those who love to hike, paddle, run, and bike and provide them with access and outings to enjoy this beautiful area. ROC provides locations, directions, and descriptions for outdoor recreational activities throughout Rutherford County. We offer downloadable maps, photos, and videos to help you make the most of your outdoor fun.

In the absence of an official county recreation department, the Rutherford Outdoor Coalition focuses on coordinated activity, but we are also very active in developing new trails. As we have developed more trails and nature areas for residents to enjoy their favorite outdoor pastimes, we have grown in membership. We are proud that our members work together as an organization for the greater good of all residents of the county as well as our visitors.

Get to Know the People Behind the Programs

ROC has a small staff and volunteer board that supports the planning and implementing of our many events. Check out each board member and staff bio! 

ROC Is Instrumental In Expanding Area Trails

ROC has advocated for and worked directly on expanding trail opportunities in the county for more than a decade. We have helped grow our Thermal Belt Rail Trail to more than 13 miles in length, helped create two new public river accesses, partnered with the Town of Lake Lure and Conserving Carolina on Buffalo Creek Park, Weed Patch Mountain & Youngs Mountain. ROC volunteers built and maintain the 3 mile trail system at ICC.

Join In Our Annual Racing Series and Biking Tour

ROC, along with several corporate sponsors, has managed a local race series since 2011. Running from February through Thanksgiving, the series has 12 races planned this year. We were proud to see over 1,200 runners compete for prizes in years past. We also have a popular annual cycling tour. We invite all runners and bikers to join in these events.

At ROC our vision is simple: We have recognized the huge outdoor recreation potential in our county and we strive to work together to make this untapped resource known to everyone. We invite you to join us in this adventure. Whether you love to hike, bike, paddle, or saddle up, the Rutherford Outdoor Coalition is here to help make that possible.

Monthly General Meetings and Newsletters

ROC holds a monthly general meeting on the 3rd Tuesday of each month at Barleys Taproom in Spindale. All are welcome. We also publish a monthly newsletter. You can see an archive on our Newsletter page.


Appropriate Clothing

Weather can change quickly in the mountains. Always tuck rain gear into your backpack and bring along layers of clothes.