Fort Mill Times

Land donation helps extend Carolina Thread Trail

The S.C. section of the Carolina Thread Trail runs through Fort Mill and down along the Catawba River in Rock Hill’s Riverwalk Community. The trail system will soon be expanded to include the U.S. 21 bridge, thanks to an easement granted by the Scott family.
The S.C. section of the Carolina Thread Trail runs through Fort Mill and down along the Catawba River in Rock Hill’s Riverwalk Community. The trail system will soon be expanded to include the U.S. 21 bridge, thanks to an easement granted by the Scott family. KATIE RUTLAND

The expansion of a network of trails between Rock Hill and Fort Mill is now possible thanks to alocal family.

James Scott signed over part of his family’s land for a trail easement with Nation Fort Land Trust on May 1. This will allow project leaders with the Nation Ford Land Trust to build an additional 1.3 miles of trail along the Carolina Thread Trail. It will also provide access to the pedestrian lanes that cross the S.C. 21 bridge over the Catawba River.

Travis Morehead with the Carolina Thread Trail said the goal is to connect the existing trail in Riverwalk with the trail planned for Scott’s land and then across the river to the new Mason’s Bend development in Fort Mill – then eventually to Baxter Village and the state line. It wouldn’t be possible without the help from the Scott family, Morehead said.

“This is a crucial piece and the Scotts were generous to allow us to have easement,” he said.

The trail that will be built on the Scott’s land will not be paved like the trail at Riverwalk. Morehead said work is beginning to get permitting completed including an easement for land owned by Fort Mill as well as the S.C. DOT. Once permitting is complete, the trail should take no more than six months to complete.

The Carolina Thread trail links 15 counties in the Charlotte region. There are 220 miles of trail open to the public. The Piedmont Medical Center Trail at Riverwalk, the trail system at Baxter Village, the Blue Star Trail through the Anne Springs Close Greenway, and the Nation Ford Greenway on Sugar Creek are all part of the trail network.

Janet Steele with the Nation Ford Land Trust said the role the Carolina Thread Trail plays also goes beyond the mental and physical perks of its users. It’s also about preservation.

“We’re protecting water quality, habitats, natural woodlands. It gives (people) the ability to get out and get on these sites and see the benefit to the public of our land conservation efforts,” she said.

The Thread Trail will grow a little longer beginning next month. There will be a grand opening for the Walnut Creek Trail in Lancaster at 6 p.m. June 9. With 3.5 miles of trail opening, this is the longest section completed so far. It will eventually cross into North Carolina and connect to part of the Thread Trail in Waxhaw, N.C.

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