$1.1 million riverfront park planned in McAdenville

A $1.1 million riverfront park with a canoe and kayak launch and 2 miles of trails is planned along the South Fork River in McAdenville, officials in the eastern Gaston County town said this week.

The town and longtime manufacturer Pharr are leading the effort with the Catawba Lands Conservancy.

The first phase is scheduled to open in the fall with a bog walk, an overlook and natural trails. Phase 2, planned for the end of 2017, will add a paved riverside trail and the canoe/kayak launch.

Paved paths will link McAdenville’s historic commercial district with a creek area and new housing.

The South Fork River, which once powered McAdenville’s mills, runs just 300 feet from downtown.

When complete, the park’s trails will connect with an already existing 2-mile stretch of the Carolina Thread Trail that runs through McAdenville. The trail network spans 15 counties in the Carolinas.

Officials said they envision the park providing a second regional attraction for the town. McAdenville is already known as Christmas Town USA for its annual display of Christmas lights.

McAdenville received a matching $350,000 grant for the park from the N.C. Parks and Recreation Authority.

Pharr, through its real estate development company, Belmont Land and Investment Co., plans to donate at least 12 acres to the town, provide easements for more park property and help the town oversee design and construction.

Family-owned Pharr has been headquartered in McAdenville since 1939. The company began as a sales yarn manufacturer and has expanded into one of North America’s leading manufacturers of carpet yarns, high-performance yarns and floor covering products.

“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 Lands Conservancy to provide this exciting new asset,” Bill Carstarphen, president and CEO of Pharr Yarns, said in a news release announcing plans for the park.

Joe Marusak: 704-358-5067, @jmarusak