A beautiful new 2.8-mile segment of The Carolina Thread Trail is now open at the Seven Oaks Preserve near the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden at 6900 S. New Hope Road in Belmont, NC.
This new natural surface trail will directly benefit community residents in Belmont and Lake Wylie, but is open to the general public to enjoy and explore.
The Seven Oaks Preserve, a 77-acre permanently protected area conserved by Catawba Lands Conservancy and is adjacent to Lake Wylie in Gaston County and the new waterfront trail connects to The Garden’s Persimmon Trail. The Seven Oaks Preserve Trail weaves through the preserve’s wooded area that serves as an important wildlife corridor and provides water quality protection for Lake Wylie.
Funding to purchase and conserve the Seven Oaks Preserve, and construct the trail and trail amenities was generously provided by the Seven Oaks Farm, LLC., Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden Foundation, Pam Warlick Foundation, W. Duke Kimbrell Family Foundation, North Carolina Clean Water Management Trust Fund, and the Recreational Trails Program (an initiative of North Carolina State Parks). Photos courtesy of Nancy Pierce Photography.
Find This Trail:
The Seven Oaks Preserve Trail’s trailhead and parking lot is located at 6900 S. New Hope Road, Belmont, NC 28012 (located south of The Garden).
- There has been tremendous community support and great participation from local companies to help advance this new trail. Construction launched this summer with donated materials and labor by Rodgers Builders, Inc. for three pedestrian bridges for the trail. Eighty Rodgers’ employees volunteered 725 hours over four work days, and created the foundations and built the bridges this summer as part of the company’s 50th Anniversary, saving The Thread approximately $26,000 in construction material costs (not including labor).
- The Garden, Premiere Healthcare, Bank of America and Duke Energy all provided employees for various trail-building workdays that culminated in a total of 285 volunteer hours. In mid-November, the City of Belmont donated a dump truck and recycling services for an effort which volunteers and staff cleared three quarters of a ton of trash and debris, including 32 tires and thousands of plastic bottles, from the preserve and trail. To help rid the preserve and trail corridor of kudzu, Gregg Antemann and Carolina Wetland Services loaned CLC a bush hog, a type of rotary mower, for three days which saved $800 in stewardship costs. The Garden and Anteman also volunteered technical support and assistance on how to effectively reduce and kill kudzu on other parts the preserve.
- Over the last two years, the Duke Energy Habitat Enhancement Program provided $26,000 in grants to help CLC eradicate kudzu from the preserve and trail. In 2012, grant money paid for goats to remove kudzu from 10 acres of the preserve and this year CLC purchased equipment and seeds to increase effectiveness against the kudzu and reestablish native grasses and wildflowers.
- This new trail is one of 14 trail segments, totaling 21.3 miles, currently opened to the public in Gaston County that are part of The Thread. This new trail adds 2.8 miles to the network, bringing to 137 the total number of Carolina Thread Trail miles open to the public across the region.
- Trails are vegetated natural buffers that help improve water quality, reduce the impacts of flooding, and provide wildlife habitat, recreation, transportation, conservation, fitness and economic benefits for all to enjoy. Access to trails and greenways is no longer a luxury, but a necessary amenity for all communities to ensure our community health, wellness and sustainability. Across the country, examples demonstrate that trails attract families, businesses and visitors, spurring economic development and increasing the quality of life in communities. According to a study by the National Association of Homebuilders, trails and greenways are the number one amenity desired by potential homeowners when considering moving into a new community.