TRAIL MAP,
PARKING & SAFETY

Bridging the towns of Ruth, Rutherfordton, Spindale and Forest City, the Thermal Belt Rail Trail is connecting great communities. Enjoy:

  • 13.58 Miles Long of Converted Railway

  • 12’ Wide Paved Trail

  • Gentle Elevation Changes — 1500-1621

  • Walk, Run, Bike, Commute

  • Seven Devoted Parking Areas 

  • Natural Canopy Provides Shade​

  • Northern Section (Mile 0 to 5):

    • Rural

    • Long Stretches Between Cross Streets

    • Great for Biking and Hot Weather

  • Southern Section (Mile 5 to 13.5):

    • Urban

    • Restaurants & Shopping

    • Restrooms

    • Entertainment

AMENITIES / MAP LEGEND:

Mile Marker

Starting in the north, the trail travels south for 13.58 miles

Bike Rack

  • Around Mile 5

  • Mile 6.5

  • Downtown Forest City

Dog Park

Mile 11.2 @ Park Square

Kiosk

Placed at each parking area, there are seven total throughout the trail. Each contains useful information including the map, safety, history, site specific info and more.

Pickleball

Mile 7 @ Spindale House

Rest Area / Bench

Located throughout the trail

Shelter

  • Mile 2.1 @ Gilboa Church Rd./Bechtler Mint Site Historic Park

  • Crestview Park

  • Purple Martin Greenway

  • Summey Park

  • Crowe Park

  • Mile 11.2 @ Park Square

Tennis Court

  • Crestview Park

  • Mile 7 @ Spindale House

  • Mile 10.7 @ Harris St/Callison Rec. Center

Workout Station

  • Rutherford County Walking Path

  • Mile 11.2 @ Park Square

Baseball Diamond

  • Crestview Park

  • Summey Park

  • Crowe Park

Bike Repair Station

  • Mile 2.1 @ Gilboa Church Rd./Bechtler Mint Site Historic Park

  • Mile 4.8 @ Railroad Ave.

  • Mile 6.5

  • Mile 11 @ Park Square

  • Mile 12.5 @ Pine St.

  • Mile 13.58 @ Forrest W Hunt Dr.

Fountain

  • Downtown Forest City

  • Mile 11.2 @ POPS

Public Library

  • Downtown Rutherfordton

  • Mile 7 in Downtown Spindale

  • Withrow Rd

  • Downtown Forest City

Playground

  • Crestview Park

  • Mile 7 @ Spindale House

  • Summey Park

  • Crowe Park

Restaurants

Easily accessible from the trail from Mile 5 to Mile 12.5

Shopping

Easily accessible from the trail from Mile 6 to Mile 11

Basketball Court

  • Mile 7 @ Spindale House

  • Mile 10.5 @ Harris St/Callison Rec. Center

Bridge

  • Mile 12.5 over Hwy. 74

  • Mile 13.2 over the railroad

Golf Course

Mile 10.7 @ Harris St/Callison Rec. Center

Parking

  • Mile 0 on Oak Springs Rd. - TRAIL HEAD

  • Mile 2.1 on Gilboa Church Rd./Bechtler Mint Site Historic Park

  • Mile 4.8 on Railroad Ave.

  • Mile 7 on Spindale St.

  • Mile 11.2 on Park Sq.

  • Mile 12.5 on Pine St.

  • Mile 13.58 on Forrest W Hunt Dr. - TRAIL HEAD

Public Pool

Mile 10.7 @ Harris St/Callison Rec. Center

Public Restrooms

  • Mile 2.1 @ Gilboa Church Rd./Bechtler Mint Site Historic Park

  • Crestview Park

  • Purple Martin Greenway @ Skyline Trail

  • Mile 7 @ Spindale House

  • Mile 10.7 @ Harris St/Callison Rec. Center

  • Mile 11.2 @ POPS

Splash Pad

Mile 11.2 @ POPS

Transit Stop - M-F 7:45am-5pm - FREE

  • Mile 5 @ Green St.

  • Downtown Rutherfordton

  • Mile 6.1 @ McDonald's

  • Mile 6.6 @ North Oak St.

  • Senior Center/Rutherford County Walking Path

  • Isothermal Community College

  • Mile 10.2 @ Grace of God Rescue Mission

  • Downtown Forest City

  • Mile 12.3 @ Food Lion

Water Fountain

  • Mile 6.5 

  • Mile 7 @ Spindale House

  • Mile 10.7 @ Harris St/Callison Rec. Center

  • Mile 11.2 @ POPS

Paved Trails / Walking Paths

  • Thermal Belt Rail Trail

  • Purple Martin Greenway

  • Rutherford County Walking Path

  • Summey Park

Natural Trails

  • Bechtle Mint Site Historic Park

  • Isothermal Community College

 
 

PARKING AREAS

TRAIL RULES

FIREARMS AND OTHER WEAPONS ARE PROHIBITED*

*Concealed Carry Permit Holders under North Carolina Law 14-269 allowed

NO HORSES

NO LOITERING

 

NO POSTING OF SIGNS WITHOUT PERMISSION

NO MOTORIZED VEHICALS ALLOWED

Except for motorized wheelchairs, electric, pedal-assisted bikes that meet the provisions of federal electric bicycle law HR 727

NO HUNTING

PETS

  • Pets other than dogs and cats are prohibited

  • Dogs and cats on the trail must be supervised by owner at all times and are their sole responsibility

  • Dogs & cats must be on a leash 6' or less

  • Owners are responsible for bagging & removing any pet waste

HOURS OF OPERATION

The Thermal Belt Rail Trail
is open dawn to dusk

trail safety

  • For emergencies call or text 911. Include your location/nearest cross street.

  • Travel on right, pass on left; Give audible warning before passing.

  • Speed limit is 15 miles per hour.

  • Respect nature. Please do not collect, remove or disturb a natural orcultural object. 

  • Littering is illegal with fines up to $1,500. If you pack it in, pack it out.

  • Trail surfaces are slippery when wet.

  • For your safety please walk with a friend.

  • All bicyclists, roller skaters, etc. are encouraged to wear a helmet and protective gear. Any child under the age of 16 riding a bicycle shall wear a helmet as required by NCGS 20-171.

  • Trail users should refrain from leaving the paved portion of the trail.

  • Stop, look and listen at all road crossings.  Use caution when proceeding into any intersection even when using a marked crosswalk.  

  • Minors under the age of 16 are recommended to be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

  • Reckless use of wheeled recreational vehicles, including but not limited to bicycles, skates, skateboards, or roller blades is prohibited.

  • Please be courteous to your fellow trail users and refrain from smoking or vaping.

  • Watch for official motorized vehicles like government or emergency vehicles performing occasional maintenance or matters of public safety.

attention trail users

Users of the Thermal Belt Rail Trail do so at their own risk. The Towns of Ruth, Rutherfordton, Spindale, Forest City, the County of Rutherford, and Rutherford Railroad Development Corporation are not liable for any injuries or accidents occurring during use of the trail.  By using the trail, users release and waive said entities from any liability whatsoever that may arise during use of the trail.

CONNECTING GREAT COMMUNITIES

©Thermal Belt Rail Trail,
Managed by the Trail Partners
Proudly Created by Artifacturing

Contact Us

Need to ask something? We will answer you within 48 hours.