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, hiking trails, nature preserves, lakes, creeks, flora, fauna 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 natural beauty, you’ll find what makes us a destination for exploration.



Best Parks in Rowan County for Trails

Rowan County offers trails suitable for light walking to family friendly hiking. Our trails boast wildlife, history and so much more. In no certain order (it would be impossible to choose) - these are our top 11 places to get your steps in while visiting Rowan County:


  1. Dunn’s Mountain Park: This 83-acre park has scenic views, bird watching, hiking, picnic areas and more. After a short hike to the top of the mountain, you’ll find long-range binoculars to see the spectacular, panoramic view from the top of the mountain. From the top of the mountain you can see two rock quarries, downtown Salisbury and portions of the southwestern Piedmont.

  2. Eagle Point Nature Preserve: In a remote part of High Rock Lake, you’ll find this 200-acre natural area. Along the 3 miles of hiking trails you’ll find vistas of the lake and wildlife observation points. Nature trails, old home sites, seasonal canoe access, fishing from the shore, and plenty of wildlife to observe make Eagle Point Nature Preserve a must see Rowan County destination.

  3. Gold Hill Historic Mines Park: This 70-acre historic theme park is located in the heart of Gold Hill, NC. The park is the site of Barnhardt and Randolph Gold Mines, which was the richest mining property East of the Mississippi. The park has several miles of hiking, biking and equestrian trails along the Gold Hill Rail Trail.

  4. Fred and Alice Stanback Educational Forest and Nature Preserve: You’ll find this 42-acre park hiding in Spencer, NC. With 2.5 miles of hiking trails, a small fishing pond and plenty of wildlife to observe.

  5. Hurley Park: If you’re looking for scenic trails for a casual walk, you’ll find them at Hurley Park. This 14-acre park has woodlands, streams, gardens and quiet pathways. Enjoy the collections of hollies, magnolias, wildflowers, azaleas and other plants, along with finely crafted benches for observation.

  6. Sloan Park: You’ll find Sloan Park in the quiet country sides of Mt. Ulla, NC. 3 miles of trails, 100 acres of green space, fishing and the historic Kerr gristmill make Sloan Park a necessary stop in Rowan County.

  7. Lake Corriher Wilderness Park: Walk along 4 separate short trails along Lake Corriher and Landis Lake. Fishing, kayak rentals, paddle boating and disk golf are also available.

  8. RiverPark at Cooleemee Falls: Explore the wooded trails along the South Yadkin River. The RiverPark has more than 80-acres of nature and straddles Davie and Rowan Counties. The park also allows for swimming (at your own risk) and fishing along the stone dam and sandy beach.

  9. Village Park: Take a stroll through the Village Park walking trail while taking in the sites and sounds of this lively park in Kannapolis. The Rotary Express train, splash pad, playground and picnic shelters keep this park filled with activity.

  10. Dan Nicholas Park: If you’re looking to take a walk on the Carolina Thread Trail, Dan Nicholas is your place. The trail wings around Lake Murtis, where you’ll see paddle boats, and connects to the Persimmons Branch Trail which is wonderful for bird watching.

  11. Salisbury Community Park: Take a 1.5 mile walk through the Salisbury Community Park trail and enjoy the remaining 300-acres of this beautiful park. Plenty of space for play and fishing will keep you busy all day long.

To learn more about these parks, as well as the rest of our Rowan County parks, please visit our website.

Rowan County Parks: Best Trails

Eagle Point Nature Preserve

Gold Hill Mines Historic Park

Hurley Park

Dan Nicholas Park

Fred and Alice Stanback Educational Forest and Nature Preserve

Village Park

Dunn's Mountain Park

Salisbury Community Park

RiverPark at Cooleemee Falls

Sloan Park

Lake Corriher Wilderness Park