Rutherford Outdoor Coalition

Thermal Belt Rail-Trail

Thermal Belt Rail-Trail


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Hiking Walking/Running Cycling Equestrian Paddling Camping

Length 13.5 miles

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Update 8-3-2019

The full 13.5 miles of the trail is expected to fully completed by early fall 2019.

Currently about 12 miles of the trail is paved. It is paved from Gilkey to the US 74 bridge in Forest City. The Town of Forest City has contracted out work on that bridge, which will be a feature of the trail. The pavement is 12-feet wide.

The trail is not officially open but it is in use. Please use caution on the trail during this interim state as there not all the trail signage and safety measures are in place.

Recent improvements include a new paved parking lot in Ruth along Railroad Ave. The parking lot at the Bechtler Mint Site Historic Park is also now paved.

Click on the GPS the Trail link to explore where the trail will be once it is complete.

Many thanks again to RHI Legacy Foundation for making this trail a reality with more than $4.5 million in funding!!


WHERE: The 13.5 miles of 12' wide trails runs from Forrest Hunt Elementary school in Forest City through Forest City, Spindale, Rutherfordton, and Ruth up to Gilkey. There are numerous trail heads along the route.

DIRECTIONS: Major access points will be at Forrest Hunt Elementary, Florence Mill park in Forest City, along Main Street in Spindale, along Railroad Avenue in Rutherfordton and Ruth, and the Bechtler Mint site of Hwy 221 North. Trail heads and additional parking will be provided as the paving project progresses.

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It protects the environment and prevents you from getting lost.