North Carolina’s Thermal Belt Rail Trail

Trail of the Month

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Thermal Belt Rail Trail bridge over Highway 74 | Photo by Dana Bradley


Experience Trails


Across the country, trails are part of the fabric of the American landscape. While trails are loved as places for people to enjoy the outdoors, connecting with friends and family, they also deliver countless benefits to the communities they serve. Since its founding in 1986, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) has played a central role in the massive growth of the trails and active transportation movement—a movement that has grown thanks to trail advocates and trail users alike.

As the national voice of the trails movement, RTC shines a spotlight on the entire trails experience—encouraging people to make trail use part of their daily life, celebrating exemplary trails and the heroes who make them possible, providing resources for people to find and access trails, and inspiring movement.

Great American Rail-Trail

The Great American Rail-Trail promises an all-new American experience. Through 12 states and the District of Columbia, the trail will directly serve nearly 50 million people within 50 miles of the route. Consider the economic opportunities and the benefits for communities along the route of a multiuse trail that stretches more than 3,700 miles between Washington and Washington.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE GREAT AMERICAN

Explore our TrailBlog and Rails to Trails magazine stories to learn about the country’s remarkable multi-use trails and trail networks, and the positive impacts they have on their surrounding communities.

Ready to get outside? TrailLink.com, our free trail-finder database, offers detailed descriptions, interactive maps, photo galleries and firsthand ratings and reviews of trails around the country.

You can also join other outdoor enthusiasts to celebrate trails through our Opening Day for Trails events each spring.

Opening Day for Trails

Save the date for April 18, 2020

Opening Day for Trails is the national kickoff celebration for the spring trail season. On April 18, people across the nation will celebrate by hitting their favorite trails for a walk, run, ride or special event. Learn more to find trail events near you or get tools to plan one of your own.

Learn more about Opening Day for Trails

Mississippi’s Tanglefoot Trail

Learn more about the Hall of Fame

Photo by Don Locke


Share the Trail

Be nice. Trails are for everyone.

Remember, every amazing trail experience begins with you! Watch our award-winning video series to learn the six Golden Rules of trail use—you can help make every trip safe and fun for everyone.

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Watch the Series

Central Author of Railbanking Legislation Named
2018 Doppelt Family Rail-Trail Champion

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2018 Doppelt Family Rail-Trail Champions Award ceremony | Photo by Hung Tran

Photo by Cleo Fogal
Sojourn Series Logo

Our 19 sojourns in six states and Washington, D.C., infused the regions they toured with a total of approximately $2 million—helping to fuel trailside businesses and powering the local economies.

Learn More the Sojourn Series

Wear Your Trail Pride

Shop Trail Store


Be Trail Prepared



Best of TrailBlog


North Carolina’s Thermal Belt Rail Trail

North Carolina’s Thermal Belt Rail Trail

Today, the 13.58-mile Thermal Belt Rail Trail lies where the old Southern Railroad, and later the Thermal Belt Railway, once ran. The trail has been a...

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Nine Romantic Trail Destinations That Will Make You Swoon

Nine Romantic Trail Destinations That Will Make You Swoon

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, we thought it was a great time to bust out this list of top romantic rail-trails in the United States,...

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Eight Scenic State Parks for RV Camping Along the Great American Rail-Trail

Eight Scenic State Parks for RV Camping Along the Great American Rail-Trail

To experience a trail of such length—the Great American spans more than 3,700 miles—some may prefer to hop in an RV to cover greater distances and...

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