South Fork Trail
ElevationAscent: 41' 12 m
Descent: -35' -11 m
High: 614' 187 m
Low: 592' 180 m
GradeAvg Grade: 1% (0°)
Max Grade: 5% (3°)
Current trail conditions
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“An enjoyable trail that runs alongside the South Fork River.”— Chris Bernick
A mile into the trail is Cable Point. A lookout area dedicated to Dave Cable, a former Catawba Lands Conservancy Executive Director and visionary, for his years of service to our region.
This is a historic trail that was originally used by the Native Americans and then utilized by settlers for textile mills. There were two mills in the woods along the trail. One was the Ferguson Mill and the other one was nicknamed Pinhook. Opened in August 1852, the Pinhook Mill was the second mill to operate along the South Fork River. According to Gaston County historian Robert Ragan, the mill received its name because mill workers' would use bent textile pins to fish for lunch outside the building's windows. During the Civil War, a small detachment of Union soldiers were sent to burn down Pinhook Mill, which was producing cloth for the Confederacy. Upon hearing the soldiers coming, mill superintendent William Sahms ran out to meet the Union troop, only to find them led by his Pennsylvanian childhood neighbor. Sahms convinced the soldiers to spare the mill and the soldiers burnt the bridge instead.The stone pillars of the bridge are still in the river.
Parking is available at 119 Willow Drive, McAdenville, NC 28101 (Google Maps says Gastonia).
Land Manager: Catawba Lands Conservancy
Jun 10, 2019: 2018 Annual Report
Jun 4, 2019: Acres to Roam: The Killian Family Farm
May 20, 2019: Conservancy Brings Native Blooms Back to Preserved Land