Activities to Enjoy the Great Outdoors in NC

With so many great ways to get up, get out, and get moving it’s easy to enjoy an active lifestyle in Rutherford County, NC. Many residents and visitors to the area find the gently rolling Blue Ridge Mountain Foothills and stunning local scenery to be the perfect magnet for getting out and getting active. These are just a few of the activities you can enjoy in the Rutherford County area.


Use hiking to explore the many area state parks, to find waterfalls, to take in the stunning fall foliage, or to enjoy the first flowers of spring. Hiking in Rutherford County, NC is a year-round activity. You can also walk the Thermal Belt Rail Trail, an eight-mile trail that is paved for 1.8 miles and crushed gravel for the remainder.  See more Hiking and Walking.


Rutherford County has an awesome running community with over 1,000 people having participated on one of the ROC Race Series events each of the last three years. There are great places to run including natural surface and the Thermal Belt Rail Trail. See more Running.


Our areas offers numerous opportunities for road cycling and mountain biking. The road cycling is some of the best anywhere with lightly traveled country roads and abundant scenery. There are two annual bike tours (Tour de Pumpkin and Gears and Gables) plus a bike race at the Lake Lure Olympiad. Mountain Bikers can explore the new trails at Buffalo Creek Park. Also nearby are mountain bike trails at South Mountains State Park and Chimney Rock State Park.  See more Cycling.


Paddling is more than an adventure here, it’s a way of life. Rutherford County offers opportunities for paddling on Lake Lure and the Broad River.  See more Paddling.

Horseback Riding

From riding lessons to guided tours to opportunities for more advanced equestrians, Rutherford County, NC provides an abundance of opportunities for any lover of horses to get his or her fill. It is home to several stables and venues for riding horses.  More on Equestrian.


Get outdoors not only during the day, but make it a weekend or an overnight and experience our state parks on a whole new level and go camping! Whether in a Tent, RV or Cabin, camping is filled with fun for the entire family. See more Camping.


Pack a Kit

Make sure you have the supplies to deal with major injuries, and make sure you have the knowledge to use it.