Spring Break. The phrase alone evokes memories of fun times past and dreams of warmer weather adventures. From college cavorting to high school hijinks and family frivolities - Rutherford county and the North Carolina foothills have the sights and activities to make your spring break the adventure of a lifetime.
The foothills are a mecca for hikers, bikers, and adventure seekers of all kinds - and Rutherford county has the trails and outdoor activities that are sure to thrill every ability level. Prefer an easy, picturesque stroll? The Purple Martin Greenway is a 1.4-mile dog-friendly greenway trail open to runners, walkers, and cyclists, and is connected to both Crestview Park and the new Kiwanis Park via multiple access points. The Thermal Belt Rail Trail is a 13.5-mile trail that is actually the original railroad track linking the towns of Ruth, Spindale, Rutherfordton, and Forest City, converted into a scenic path that’s perfect for walkers, hikers, runners, and cyclists. You can even rent a bicycle for the trail at Spindale’s OpenBox Bikes & Fitness if you prefer cycling to hiking but don’t want the stress of bringing your own wheels. And for an enthralling sensory experience, The Lake Lure Flowering Bridge is a not-to-be-missed oasis that's registered as a Living 3D Mural on the Appalachian Mural Trail.
For those who prefer a bit more challenge, Buffalo Creek Park boasts over 12-miles of trails through 1,527 acres of natural forests along the head of Hickory Nut Gorge, and is great for runners, hikers, or mountain bikers. The trails at Chimney Rock State Park are a hikers' paradise with options like the Four Seasons Trail, the Outcroppings Trail, and even the Exclamation Point and Skyline Trails that wind through uphill climbs, switchbacks, and along the rock's ridgeline to experience views of Hickory Nut Gorge from a breathtaking 2,640 feet above sea level.
If you like your outdoor scenery viewed from a slightly higher vantage point, take in the trails while riding horseback! Cedar Creek Stables offers guided 1, 1.5, and 2-hour trail rides through the gorge's forests, along overlooks, and across ridgetops. Want to get a bird's eye view? Canopy Ridge Farms offers guided zip line tours across 60 acres of forests, gorges, hillsides, and water that are perfect for thrill-seekers of all ages.
Beaching it is a definite spring break activity, and what better way to celebrate sandy adventures than with water activities! No matter whether it's water-skiing, wake surfing, wakeboarding, tubing, or kneeboarding - the pros at Lake Lure Adventure Company offer lessons in all that and more including boat, kayak, and paddleboard rentals. They’re a one-stop-shop for every form of water-bound fun! Is simply cruising the lake while enjoying the sights more your crew’s style? Make sure to contact Lake Lure Tours. They offer guided pontoon boat tours, box lunch cruises, and even dinner cruises around the lake daily.
If your idea of water activities includes kicking back with a rod and reel, then you'll love Lake Lure Fishing Excursions. Captain Steve and his crew offer both morning and twilight excursions, and you can even bring your faithful furry friend along for the ride if they’re well behaved. Be sure to purchase an NC Fishing License for anyone in your group that’s 16 or older, and book your trip in advance.
Tee it Up
The variety of challenging yet affordable courses in the North Carolina foothills will definitely put the spring back in your step! The Bald Mountain Golf Course at the Rumbling Bald Resort in Lake Lure is a breathtakingly beautiful course with tight fairways nestled among incredible rock-faced cliffs and mountain views. Speaking of beautiful, Lake Lure’s Apple Valley Golf Course is a 72 par course that was listed as one of Golf Digest's most beautiful places to play.
Rutherforton's Meadowbrook Golf Club and Cleghorn Golf & Sports Club both include incredible tree-line fairways and challenging water hazards, and Forest City's Dogwood Valley Golf Course is a year-round par 36 course that's perfect if you're looking for quick play.
Shop It Off
If your spring vacation simply must include shop-til-you-drop adventures, the small towns of Rutherford county absolutely fit the bill. From an array of charming boutiques in Rutherfordton and Forest City, to handmade artisan finds in Chimney Rock Village, and even Flea Market Flip style shopping at the Victorian Lace Antique Mall and Flea Town USA - you're sure to find a myriad of take home treasures. If your shopping journey includes a foray into ultimate relaxation, then a trip to the spa will be your perfect compliment. The Irongate Spa, Esmeralda Spa, and the Spa & Salon at Rumbling Bald all offer indulgent treatments and packages including massages, wraps, scrubs, and facials, and Blake’s Spa in Forest City offers customized facials and skin care services that will transform your complexion into one that’s luminous to behold. You can even spoil yourself in Blake’s apothecary-style store with skincare and essential oil products that will keep your spring break glow going long after your session is complete.
Spring Away From the Ordinary
From outdoor adventures to indoor excitement, there’s truly no place quite like the small towns of Rutherford county. Go to VisitNCSmallTowns and design your perfect spring break vacation today! Multitudes of memories are here for the making.