You're Invited: Join the movement to protect our beloved, shared outdoor spaces.

March 19, 2024, 1:30 p.m.

Introducing G5 Trail Collective Trail Tracker: Catawba Falls!

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We're mixing things up here in McDowell County, NC! Working alongside our amazing community partners like NC Forest Service, G5 Trail Collective, and our regional outdoor organizations, we have a goal to lift out the spectacular outdoor space around us. Instead of a Trail of the Month, this March we're introducing a Trail Tracker, shared by our friends at G5 Trail Collective.

Welcome back, Trail Trackers!

We're excited to announce the reopening of Catawba Falls, a true gem in the heart of Old Fort. This natural wonder, known for its awe-inspiring beauty, will be unveiling a host of enhancements on May 31, 2024, designed to elevate your connection with nature.

Over the past year, Old Fort has witnessed significant growth, not only in our trail network but also in our community's engagement with the great outdoors. This year, our focus shines brightly on Catawba Falls, a jewel in the crown of our local natural attractions. The falls, known for their breathtaking beauty, have undergone extensive improvements, ensuring safer and more accessible adventures for all.

The reopening of Catawba Falls marks the culmination of dedicated efforts to enhance the visitor experience while preserving the natural integrity of this stunning site. The project introduces engineered stairs, boardwalks, and a viewing tower integrated into the cliffs, offering unparalleled views and access to the falls. These improvements, part of the broader Old Fort Trails Project, aim not only to increase safety but also to drive economic growth by boosting tourism and local business opportunities.

This significant milestone is a testament to the power of community collaboration. We're proud to acknowledge the 275 volunteers who dedicated 3,000 hours to trail development, and the support of organizations like Camp Grier, The Catawba Vale Collaborative, and People on the Move. Their collective efforts, along with a $2.5 million state grant for trail expansion, have transformed Catawba Falls into a premier outdoor destination.

As we celebrate the reopening of Catawba Falls, we also acknowledge the broader impact of these developments. With 13 new businesses opening their doors and over 5,000 registrations for local races, it's clear that our community's passion for the outdoors is driving significant economic and social progress.

We cordially invite you to join us in anticipation of May 31, when Catawba Falls reopens its trails. Come and explore the new features that await, whether you're a long-time resident or a visitor eager to discover the beauty of Old Fort. The trails, and especially Catawba Falls, promise adventures that will leave you inspired and rejuvenated.

If you're as excited as we are about our favorite waterfall reopening, be sure to sign up for Catawba Falls Reopening News Announcements on the G5 Trail Collective website:

Want another great reason to come to Old Fort this Summer? The same weekend as the Catawba Falls Reopening, the Town of Old Fort is hosting Trails & Trains Day! A celebration of all things outdoor recreation and train history, this multi-day weekend event lifts up the vibrant, growing outdoor community in our county. Stop in for the pre-event evening block party, a Duck Race, fun-run, Scavenger Hunt, all day outdoor exhibitors and vendor village, plus a fly-fishing film festival at Euda Wine!