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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Printable MapPrintable Map GPS the TrailGPS the Trail

Rail Trail Grand Opening Celebration on 10-19-19! 

Thermal Belt Rail Trail - Grand Opening from Dustin's Way Collective on Vimeo.

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

Currently about 13 miles of the trail is paved. It is paved from Gilkey to the behind the Element Church in Forest City. The pavement is 12-feet wide. Please use caution on the trail during this time as not all the trail signage and safety measures are in place.

Recent improvements include a new paved parking lots in Ruth along Railroad Ave, Bechtler Mint Site Historic Park, and Pine Street in Forest City. The bridge over US 74 is finished and open!

Click on the GPS the Trail link to explore an interactive Google map of the trail.

Many thanks to the 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 trail runs from Gilkey to Forrest Hunt Elementary. It travels through five communities including Ruth, Spindale, Rutherfordton, and Forest City.

DIRECTIONS: Accesses with Parking:
GIlkey - Oak Springs Road (Mile 0)
Bechtler Mint Historic Site - 342 Gilboa Church Rd, Rutherfordton (Mile 2)
Ruth at 1006 Railroad Ave, Rutherfordton (Mile 4.8)
Downtown Spindale (Mile 7)
Downtown Forest City and POPS, 172 Park Square, Forest City (Mile 11.2)
Pine and Broadway Street, Forest City (Mile 12.5)
Forrest Hunt Elementary, 100 Forrest Hunt Dr, Forest City (Mile 13.5)

Post Trip Report



Pack a Kit

Make sure you have the supplies to deal with major injuries, and make sure you have the knowledge to use it.