• Charlie Leonard

Trails, Water and Playgrounds—Your guide to Belmont's 12 parks (plus a look at what's next)

Lush greenways and serene waterways are an essential part of Gaston County’s outdoor portfolio, but the local parks are just as important for immediate relaxation and recreational activities. That’s exactly what you’ll find in Belmont, with many local parks in and around the burgeoning downtown area and plenty of classes, camps, and athletic programs to choose from. To get you started on your next great outdoor adventure, here’s a go-to guide to Belmont’s beautiful parks and recreation spaces.

Grant Baldwin, Gaston Outside

Davis Park

Grant Baldwin, Gaston Outside

204 Park Dr.

Daily 7:30 a.m.-10 p.m.


Located in a wooded area near Belmont Middle School, Davis Park is a more secluded place to relax and play. Besides common park accessories like picnic tables–that can be reserved for events–and playgrounds, the Park also has baseball and soccer fields, tennis courts, and even pickleball courts–a game that combines tennis, badminton, and ping-pong all in one. Reserve your court today, and be on the lookout for lessons and tournaments.


Dwight Frady Field

Grant Baldwin, Gaston Outside

611 Catawba St.


Frady Field and the adjoining Crescent Park are a part of one larger multipurpose green space, complete with a baseball field, basketball courts, and swing sets. It’s also right down the road from the Catawba River Antique Mall, one of Gaston County’s best spots for antiquing.


Ebb Gantt Park

Grant Baldwin, Gaston Outside

500 Brook St.

Daily 8 a.m.-11 p.m.


After opening in 2015, Ebb Gantt Park became the first new Belmont park in more than 30 years and a permanent home to the town’s soccer program. Playground equipment and a picnic area are also on the park grounds for event reservation and kid-friendly playtime.


J. Paul Ford Center

37 E. Woodrow Ave.

Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.


Serving as the main building for the Belmont Parks and Recreation Department, the J. Paul Ford Center is also available for event and party rentals. The building consists of a large room that holds 60 people, tables and chairs, a kitchen area with a refrigerator, sink, and microwave, and restroom facilities.


The J. Paul Ford Center will also offer four kids’ dance summer camps beginning this summer. The camps are available for ages three and up and all skill levels are welcome.


Kevin Loftin Riverfront Park

Grant Baldwin, Gaston Outside

1400 Catawba St.

Daily 7 a.m.-8 p.m.


Kevin Loftin Riverfront Park is right on the Catawba River, just as the name suggests. That means kayaking, fishing, boating, and fun in the water, but there’s so much more to do while you’re there. It’s a great place for a kids' birthday party or any event with 3 picnic tables available for rent. There’s also a walking path, a gazebo area, and a playground area with swing sets that any kid will love. For adults, a casual stroll along the river and through the beautiful green space is a unique date idea (that’s also free) that shouldn’t be overlooked.


Linford Park

Cason St.


Officially the newest park in Belmont, Linford Park is located just north of Belmont Abbey College and offers a quiet alternative to downtown. The main attraction is the walking path, but you will also find a playground area, a small basketball court, and uncovered picnic tables that would be great for a post-game snack or a rest after a relaxing walk.


Reid Park

Grant Baldwin, Gaston Outside

305 Sacco St.

Open 24/7


If you love basketball, Reid Park is well-known for its popular basketball court that regularly sees players shooting around and playing pick-up games. The park also has a walking trail, a baseball field, a playground area, and a picnic shelter for rent.


Rocky Branch Park

105 Sacco St.


Joining the expansive Carolina Thread Trail near downtown, Rocky Branch Park is undergoing a massive improvement project in partnership with the city of Belmont, the Tarheel Trailblazers, and the Rocky Branch Trail Committee to enhance the mountain bike trail on property. The goal was to have the Park reopened by the summer with current progress on a beginner trail around ⅓ done and the more intermediate trail awaiting construction. Once complete, Rocky Branch Park will house a unique, urban biking experience with short climbs and technical features to keep riders on their toes.


Rodden Field

123-, 199 Vine St.


Rodden Field is a wide, multipurpose green space with a baseball field and soccer field. Many games are held here on a regular basis.


Seven Oaks Preserve Trail

Grant Baldwin, Gaston Outside

6900 S. New Hope Rd.

Daily 7 a.m.-7 p.m.


Immediately next to Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden, the Seven Oaks Preserve Trail on the Carolina Thread Trail is an almost three-mile trail that starts near the banks of Lake Wylie and goes north to connect to Daniel Stowe’s trail system. Just like Daniel Stowe, the Seven Oaks Preserve Trail’s moderate-intensity hike is full of different flora and fauna to observe and take in–which includes butterflies as a part of the North Carolina Wildlife Foundation’s Butterfly Highway.