A 3.5-Mile Trail In North Carolina Leads To An Old Laboratory And Abandoned Cotton Factory Ruins
Combine your love of the outdoors with some history in the Tar Heel State when you hike a trail in North Carolina that follows an old railroad corridor and leads past an old laboratory and abandoned mill ruins. Check out the South Fork Rail Trail below and then add this one to the list – it’s definitely bucket-list-worthy!
The South Fork Rail Trail is part of the Paul and Agnes Rhyne Conservation Preserve near Lincolnton.
It follows a 3.5-mile path along an old, deserted rail trail that still has some rails in place.
Much of the hike, though, is along a smooth, natural surface.
The trail's slight elevation gain of only 131 feet makes it an easy hike where you can spend your energy enjoying the sights - instead of chugging up and down hills and mountains.
Tree tunnels, river views, and even some old buildings along the way will fuel your desire to continue and to also take you time.
Along the way, you'll encounter the ruins of an old mill, complete with the dam on the South Fork Catawba River that helped to power the mill.
The ruins usually have No Trespassing signs posted so if you see them please adhere to the law. They're most likely in place to keep hikers safe from a rickety structure that could result in injury should you set foot inside.
You'll probably be more interested in what's outside anyway. The dam here is absolutely stunning.
A little further downriver, you'll encounter an old building across the river. It was built as a mill in 1819 but burned in 1863.
The mill was never rebuilt but the ruins were incorporated into a medical laboratory for the Confederacy during the Civil War. The site tested and manufactured medicines for plants.
Today, it's been converted into an event venue and is in full use once again.
The dam on the South Fork Catawba River at the old mill-turned laboratory-turned event venue is a bit more rudimentary than the dam located a bit upstream at the other mill ruins. But it's still intact!
Enjoy this little hike along the South Fork Catawba River near Lincolnton.
Find out more about the
South Fork Rail Trail from AllTrails.com, a fantastic source for all of your hiking needs! You’re sure to love this hiking trail in North Carolina!
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South Fork Rail Trail, 2648 Laboratory Rd, Lincolnton, NC 28092, USA