February 10, 2024 at 10:38 a.m.

Easement Agreement Will Bring Public Trails To Spencer Mountain

Three miles of trails on the property have already been planned
Spencer Mountain
Spencer Mountain
(Photo Courtesy Nancy Pierce)

GASTON COUNTY, N.C. – Outdoor enthusiasts will soon have an iconic hiking destination to complement Crowders Mountain, thanks to a trail easement agreement between Catawba Lands Conservancy and WBTV, which will allow public trails to the top of Spencer Mountain in Gaston County, N.C. The trails will be part of the Carolina Thread Trail network.

Three miles of trails on the property have already been planned and designed by Community Trail Design. The plan includes an easy loop trail around the base of the mountain, and a more active switchback trail up the western face to the summit at 1,250 feet. Trail facilities will allow access for hiking, cycling and people with mobility limitations. Construction is anticipated to begin by 2026, provided the more than $800,000 needed to fund construction is secured.

Spencer Mountain is one of the best-known geographic features and the third-highest peak in Gaston County, visible from miles around. The skyline of Charlotte is visible from its summit on clear days, making it a desirable destination for outdoor recreation. An observation area at the summit for users to take in the surrounding scenic views is also planned.

When complete, the trails at Spencer Mountain will connect to Gaston County’s George Poston Park, linking it to the larger Matthews-Belk South Fork River Corridor that will extend south 23 miles to Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden near the South Carolina state line.

“This project has been years in the making and we are happy that families and hiking enthusiasts of all levels will now have safe access to hiking trails in this beautiful part of the North Carolina mountains”, says Michelle Robinson Harper, VP and General Manager of WBTV. “I also want to thank the Catawba Lands Conservancy for their important role in helping to make this happen.”

Spencer Mountain is owned by WBTV, which worked closely with the Catawba Lands Conservancy and Carolina Thread Trail in developing a legal agreement to permit trail user access.  WBTV is the CBS affiliate for the Charlotte market and is owned by Gray Television, Inc. (NYSE: GTN).

“This easement agreement is the result of years of hard work and dedication and will create an incredible outdoor resource for residents and visitors to the region. We are just thrilled to take this crucial step forward with our partners,” said Bart Landess, Executive Director of Catawba Lands Conservancy and Carolina Thread Trail.

About Catawba Lands Conservancy and Carolina Thread Trail: Catawba Lands Conservancy is a local, nonprofit land trust dedicated to saving land and connecting lives to nature in the Southern Piedmont of North Carolina. The Conservancy protects more than 17,000 acres of land and serves Catawba, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, and Union counties. The Conservancy is committed to improving the quality of life in the communities it serves by protecting clean water, wildlife habitats, farmland, and natural open spaces for public benefit. The Conservancy also leads the Carolina Thread Trail, a regional network of trails, greenways and blueways focused on linking more than two million citizens through fifteen counties in North and South Carolina. For more information, visit catawbalands.org and carolinathreadtrail.org.



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