Reconnecting with the River

Reconnecting with the River: McAdenville and Pharr Announce $1.1 Million Riverfront Park

The Town of McAdenville and Pharr A Family of Companies, together with The Catawba Land Conservancy, are pleased to announce the creation of a riverfront park and trail network along the South Fork River and downtown McAdenville. The park will provide new river access, improve town walkability and safety, and create recreational amenities for the region.  Building on McAdenville’s rich history with the river, the park is the result of a public/private partnership formed to share McAdenville’s unique village community and natural resources. This collaborative effort earned the Town of McAdenville a matching $350,000 grant for the park from the State of North Carolina’s Parks and Recreation Authority (PARTF).

The South Fork River – which once powered the mills in McAdenville, has long been a source of innovation, pride, and enjoyment for locals. It runs just 300 feet from McAdenville’s historic downtown, making the town one of the most picturesque in the region. Designed to help the community connect to the river in a meaningful way, the riverfront park will include a network of more than two miles of trails, both paved for walking and natural surface for hiking and mountain biking, fitness trail stations, a bog walk along the creek and a canoe/kayak launch near the JM Carstarphen Bridge.

Initial Park Development

The Town of McAdenville, Pharr and The Catawba Lands Conservancy formed a community consortium to initiate, develop and fund the creation of the park, they envision as not only an asset for the community, but also as a catalyst for future growth and outdoor recreational opportunities. Pharr, through its real estate development company, Belmont Land, will donate more than 12 acres of land to the town, provide easements for additional property and funding for the park, and assist the town with park design and construction oversight. This pledge follows a long history of Pharr’s commitment to investing in true community and comes during Belmont Land’s work to revitalize McAdenville’s Historic Downtown.

“We are very excited about this great amenity for McAdenville, Gaston County and the Charlotte region. Our company and my family have deep ties to McAdenville and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with the town and The Catawba Land Conservancy to provide this exciting new asset,” says Bill Carstarphen, President and CEO of Pharr A Family of Companies and President of Belmont Land. “McAdenville is a very special place, not just at Christmas but year-round. This park will give outdoor enthusiast from around the region an opportunity to discover that for themselves as they enjoy our unique natural beauty in an historic setting.”

Vision for McAdenville’s Future

With Spencer Mountain to the town’s north, Lake Wylie to the south and the South Fork River connecting the two right through the heart of McAdenville, the town has infinite recreational and residential potential. “The river has always been a source of opportunity for McAdenville. It’s the reason the town was first founded in 1881, and today, it’s a unique feature that can bring people all over the area together,” says McAdenville Town Councilmember, Greg Richardson.

Community leaders believe that McAdenville has the natural resources and small town charm to become a new North Carolina hub for outdoor pursuits like hiking, kayaking and mountain biking. The park will continue to grow over the years, with the vision of connecting its trails to the Carolina Thread Trail, a network of greenways and blueways that link 15 counties in North and South Carolina. When complete, the park trails will connect seamlessly with an already existing two-mile stretch of the Carolina Thread Trail that runs through McAdenville.