Along the trails and around the ponds of Rowan County, you’ll find outdoor sanctuaries perfect for explorers large and small. We’re fortunate to find parks, play sets, zoos, attractions and so much more right in our backyard. With so much to explore, we figured it would be best to break down the very best of Rowan County’s outdoor adventures. In our series about Rowan County’s parks, you’ll find what makes us a destination for exploration.

Rowan County is jam packed with family friendly adventures and activities, and our parks are no exception. Check out our favorite Rowan County parks for families to spend their days:


Ellis Park: Ellis Park boasts 26 acres of indoor and outdoor recreational activities. Talk about a day in the park! Some of their amenities include: ball fields, bocce courts, a concession stand, 18-hole disc golf course, game room, horseshoe pits, pickleball courts, picnic shelters, tennis courts and a volleyball court. In July 2018, Ellis Park debuted their brand new, state of the art ADA accessible inclusive playground that enabled fun for all children of any ability level. The goal of the playground is to be a play where “All Can Play.” Ellis Park is the perfect place to spend an active day with family and friends! Admission and park activities are free to the public. Learn more about Ellis Park by visiting their website.


Dan Nicholas Park: Dan Nicholas Park is Rowan County’s most well known park, and for good reason. The park is complete with the Cheerwine Aquarium, Haden’s Carousel, Hurley Train Station, Miner Moose Gem Mine, miniature golf course, nature center, picnic shelters, paddle boats, fishing dock, walking trails, Rowan Wildlife Adventures, splash pad, Stanback Barnyard and more. You can also camp at Dan Nicholas Park at the camping cabins or campground for an additional fee. Dan Nicholas has activities of all shapes and sizes, for all seasons. Dan Nicholas Park is a smoke free park. Admission to the park is free, but some activities charge a small fee. Learn more about Dan Nicholas Park by visiting their website.


Gold Hill Mines Historic Park: Gold Hill Mines Historic Park is a 70 acre park located in the heart of Historic Gold Hill. Visitors are able to enjoy the outdoors with several miles of hiking, biking and equestrian trails, a regulation size softball and soccer fields, playground and picnic areas. Admission to the park is free. Learn more about Gold Hill Mines Historic Park by visiting their website.


Kelsey Scott Park: Kelsey Scott Park occupies 21.7 acres in Salisbury. The park is complete with a play structure, picnic shelter, a softball field, two basketball courts and a 9-hole disc golf course. This quiet oasis is the perfect place to pass time with family and friends while enjoying activities and a picnic. Admission to the park is free. Learn more about Kelsey Scott Park by visiting their website.


Sloan Park: Sloan Park offers the ideal passive recreational opportunity for families to spend time. The park has 100 acres of green space, 3 miles of trails, 5 picnic shelters, a historic gristmill, fishing, baseball and softball areas and more. Sloan Park provides the perfect setting for your next family outing. Learn more about Sloan Park by visiting their website.


Village Park: Village Park in Kannapolis is bustling year-round. Complete with an amphitheater, walking trail, Rotary Express train, a splash pad, playground, picnic shelters and open space. Village Park is also home to many special events, such as summer outdoor concerts, movies, the festival of lights and more. Admission to the park is free. Some activities cost a small fee. Learn more about Village Park by visiting their website.


Bonus: Bell Tower Green Park will be the newest park in Rowan County. The park is slated to break ground this year. The park will provide an entire city block of green space, complete with gardens, play spaces, a water wall, outdoor dining, a stage and more. Learn more about the park plan by visiting their website.


For more parks in Rowan County or events taking place in our parks, please visit our website and event calendar.

Let us know your favorite park by using #VisitRowanCounty or by tagging us on social media! Happy playing!