Canoe, kayak launch to open with Carolina Thread Trail in Cabarrus County

The second canoe and kayak launch in Cabarrus County that’s part of the Carolina Thread Trail will open on Saturday along with a nearly milelong trail, creating the Rocky River Blueway.

The trail, which provides recreational access to Rocky River, will open at Riverbend Farm in Midland.

Carolina Thread Trail staff will join Midland Mayor Kathy Kitts and Town Administrator David Pugh for a 10 a.m. ribbon-cutting at the farm, 12150 McManus Road.

The site is about a mile east of the intersection of N.C. 24/27 and U.S. 601. Parking at the grand opening is limited and will be for handicapped use only. Event staff will direct attendees to parking a short walk away.

The Carolina Thread Trail is a 15-county regional network of trails, blueways and conservation corridors that will link 2.3 million residents of the Carolinas.

After Saturday’s ceremony, explore the new natural surface trail or bring a vessel to paddle the Rocky River by putting in at Pharr Family Preserve and taking out at the new launch at Riverbend Farm.

The Riverbend Farm Canoe and Kayak Launch is the southern-most access point for paddle recreation on Rocky River in Cabarrus County.

The site is 4.5 miles downstream of a launch that opened in March at the Pharr Family Preserve Trail in Midland.

Both sites are part of the Carolina Thread Trail’s Rocky River Blueway, a planned 50-mile network of launches along the Rocky River.

The Riverbend Farm Trail provides easy grades and gentle slopes that are great for walking or running, and the canoe and kayak launch is a short walk from the trailhead. Along the new trail, the public will enjoy year-round access to the sights and sounds of an operational farm, which runs a public pumpkin patch each October.

To get to the ribbon cutting from Charlotte, take Interstate 485 to N.C. 24/27 East (Exit 41). Continue for about 11 miles and turn right onto McManus Road.

From Concord, take U.S. 601 South, turn left on N.C. 24/27 and turn right on McManus Road.