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  • Charlie Leonard

Get Outside: Enjoy the parks of Cramerton, from disc golf to rivers

If you’re looking for an outdoor adventure, then the city of Cramerton is just the spot for you. Nestled in a lush green oasis in the heart of the Gaston County sections of the Carolina Thread Trail, Cramerton’s parks and recreational spaces comprise a mixture of greenways, casual parks, and water access that's close to the excellent shops and restaurants downtown.

Goat Island Games - Grant Baldwin, Gaston Outside

Cramerton Parks are the perfect spot for biking, disc golf and the annual Goat Island Games, featuring outdoor activities like yoga and even ping pong. It’s an unofficial haven for nature lovers in Gaston County and the Charlotte area, and when you visit there’s no doubt you’ll be back again.

C.B. Huss Recreation Complex

Grant Baldwin, Gaston Outside

8 Julian St.

Recreation Center: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, 8 a.m.-8 p.m.; Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Public Swimming Pool: Sunday 1 p.m.-5 p.m.; Monday-Thursday, 12 p.m.-6 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 12 p.m.-5 p.m.

The C.B. Huss Recreation Complex is a multi-facility recreation space that houses the C.B. Huss Recreation Center, the Cramerton Recreation Public Swimming Pool, the Cramerton Community Center, and the Cramerton Senior Center all on property.

The C.B. Huss Recreation Center has amenities on the inside and outside to fit whatever activities you’ve got planned. Inside is a gym area (that can be rented out), a weight roo with free weights and machines, a cardio room with treadmills, ellipticals, and stationary bikes, and a game room that has pool tables, ping pong tables, and foosball tables. Outside the facility is a fitness loop that’s just under a mile long, a kids playground area, a volleyball court, and more amenities like access to the South Fork River and a fishing pier on site.

Grant Baldwin, Gaston Outside

The Cramerton Public Swimming Pool that’s adjacent to the Recreation Center is now open for the summer months and will stay open until August 1. There’s a $3 entry fee for Cramerton residents and a $5 fee for non-residents. Due to low staffing for the 2021 season, pool rentals, swim lessons, season passes, and other events will not be offered. For more information, follow the link here.

The Cramerton Community Center is a large gathering space with a 90-person capacity. Inside the building are restrooms, an industrial kitchen, and tables and chairs for use. The Community Center can be rented out for events at this link. The Cramerton Senior Center is a smaller space that can also be rented. That space featurs a kitchen area, restrooms, tables and chairs, and a history museum inside.

Centennial Center

Grant Baldwin, Gaston Outside

100 Center St.

The Centennial Center is an excellent spot for relaxation right in the middle of downtown Cramerton. In the center of the green space is a small amphitheater–which you can rent here. At the front, there’s the Cramerton Veterans Memorial area complete with a saluting soldier dressed in Cramerton Khaki that pays homage to a crucial part of Cramerton’s history. Other features of the park include a wall that celebrates Cramerton’s centennial, a pocket park with bike racks and a bike fix-it station, and a nearby observation pier with access to the South Fork River.

Central Park

110 Victory Lane

Open 24/7

Central Park is another downtown park that’s currently undergoing maintenance to revitalize the existing space and to add more amenities for future use. In addition to a natural surface walking track, a picnic shelter–rent here–and open green space, the park will be adding restroom facilities, enhanced natural surface walking trails, and mountain biking trails.

Goat Island Park and Greenway

Grant Baldwin, Gaston Outside

141 Eighth St.

Daily, 7 a.m.-9 p.m.

Make your way across the downtown pedestrian bridge over the South Fork River waterway and you’ll find yourself on Goat Island, home of the Goat Island Park and Greenway. Goat Island Park has 30 acres of amenities including an asphalt walking trail, two kids' playgrounds, rentable picnic spaces, an 18-hole disc golf course, access to the South Fork River with a fishing pier, and more. The walking trail and greenway section are also a part of the larger Carolina Thread Trail system which connects other Cramerton trails and greenways. Goat Island Park is a popular place for Cramerton residents and visitors alike to relax while remaining just a short walk away from the middle of town.

Historic Baltimore River Access and Fishing Pier

Grant Baldwin, Gaston Outside

102 Cramer Mountain Rd.

The Historic Baltimore River Access and Fishing Pier provide another entry point onto the South Fork River, a major Gaston County waterway. The Access Point is one of several piers and access points located on the River, providing great opportunities to kayak, fish, or just take in the beautiful scenery.

Lakewood Connector

305 Greenwood Pl.

The Lakewood Connector is a half-mile asphalt connector trail that links the Riverlink Greenway South, the Goat Island Greenway, and the Stuart W. Cramer High School Trails together. The trail is delineated by a blue line with the Carolina Thread Trail insignia on the ground.

Riverlink Greenway (North and South)

Grant Baldwin, Gaston Outside

Northern Section: 1005 S. Fork Village Dr.

Southern Section: 305 Greenwood Pl,

Daily, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Officially opening two years ago, the Riverlink Greenway is another addition to Gaston County’s greenway sections of the Carolina Thread Trail. The northern and southern sections of the Greenway combine for just under two miles of paved trail space that runs parallel with the South Fork River. The scenic walking route eventually connects to the Goat island Greenway as part of the local connection of trails through the Thread Trail.

Riverside Park and Greenway

Grant Baldwin, Gaston Outside

69 Riverside Dr.

Daily 6 a.m.-8 p.m.

Just south of the immediate downtown area, Riverside Park and the adjacent one-mile greenway provide another option for hiking the Carolina Thread Trail plus access to the South Fork River waterway. Besides hiking, fishing, and water access, Riverside Park also has an outdoor basketball court, a rentable picnic shelter, and provides a great opportunity for spotting wood ducks, beavers, and other wildlife that call the South Fork River area home.

Rocky Branch Park

Grant Baldwin, Gaston Outside

103 Sacco St., Belmont

The town of Cramerton, the nearby town of Belmont, and Gaston County Schools recently established a partnership with the Carolina Thread Trail and the Tarheel Trailblazers to turn Rocky Branch Park into “the first inter-municipal park in the region.” Comprising 55 acres of land shared by Cramerton and Belmont, the Rocky Branch Park project will officially connect downtown Belmont to downtown Cramerton via a 1.25 addition to the Carolina Thread Trail network. Another key highlight will be the extensive mountain bike trail system that will include short climbs and technical features for all skill levels plus a pump track at the trailhead near downtown Belmont. The grand reopening of Rocky Branch Park is slated for this summer.

Standpipe Connector

141 Eighth Ave.

The Standpipe Connector is a half-mile sidewalk trail that connects Goat Island Greenway, Riverside Park Greenway, and the Historic Baltimore Pier and River Access, serving as another example of just how interwoven and accessible the Cramerton parks system is.

Stuart W. Cramer Trail

101 Lakewood Rd.

Monday-Friday, 7:15 a.m.-3 p.m.

Comprising another piece of the Cramerton’s Carolina Thread Trail network, the paved trail at Stuart W. Cramer High School spans one mile long and provides easy access to Stuart W. Cramer’s athletic fields.

Additional Recreational Programming

In and around these parks and recreational spaces, there are plenty of cool programs, camps, and athletics opportunities for kids and adults. Visit the corresponding links for the most up-to-date programming options.

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