Catawba County News

Parks Celebrate 25th Birthday with Events, Trail Challenge

Parks Celebrate 25th Birthday with Events, Trail Challenge

Published: July 01, 2024

This July, Catawba County Parks is celebrating its 25th birthday with a series of Birthday Bash events at each of the County’s four parks and the kick-off of a year-long Catawba County Parks Trail Challenge.

The Birthday Bash events will take place July 6 at Riverbend Park, located at 6700 N NC Hwy 16 in Conover; July 13 at Bakers Mountain Park, located at 6680 Bakers Mountain Rd. in Hickory; July 20 at St Stephens Park, located at 2247 36th Ave. NE in Hickory, and July 27 at Mountain Creek Park, located at 6554 Little Mountain Rd. in Sherrills Ford.

All four events feature a ranger-led walk at 9 a.m. and on-site food trucks from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Additional programming will include a ranger-led salamander search at Riverbend Park on July 6 from 4 to 5:30 p.m. and a self-guided scavenger hunt at Mountain Creek Park all day on July 27. The public may enjoy the parks at their leisure throughout the day from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

All activities are free, except for food truck purchases, and are open to all ages. No advance registration is required.

The Catawba County Parks Trail Challenge invites participants to explore ten specific routes in each of Catawba County’s four parks anytime between July 1, 2024 and June 30, 2025. Participants may complete the routes on their own during this timeframe. Participants may also choose to participate in any of the guided Trail Challenge hikes offered at each park throughout the year.

Trail Challenge routes were selected at each Catawba County Park in order to provide a variety of trail experiences, from short walks to longer hikes. Routes range from easy to challenging and include family-friendly and dog-friendly options.

To participate, individuals may sign up at the Bakers Mountain Park, Mountain Creek Park or Riverbend Park offices. All participants will receive a Trail Challenge route card and Catawba County Parks merchandise when they sign up. There is no cost to participate.

Participants who complete the Trail Challenge may turn in their card at the Bakers Mountain Park, Mountain Creek Park or Riverbend Park offices any time before June 30, 2025 to receive a completion sticker and be entered into a drawing for a Catawba County merchandise gift pack.

Details about the Birthday Bash events and the Catawba County Parks Trail Challenge can be found on the Catawba County Parks’ Facebook page at or by calling Riverbend Park at 828-256-9157, Bakers Mountain Park at 828-324-8461 or Mountain Creek Park at 828-465-9645. Additional information is available at

About Catawba County Parks
Established July 3, 1999 with the opening of Riverbend Park in Conover, the Catawba County Parks system includes Bakers Mountain Park and St. Stephens Park in Hickory and Mountain Creek Park in Sherrills Ford. Encompassing nearly 1,500 acres of preserved natural habitat designed for passive recreation, Catawba County Parks allow visitors to immerse themselves in Catawba County’s great outdoors. Amenities include a combined 45 miles of hiking and biking trails, dog parks, playgrounds, picnic shelters, fishing piers, pickleball courts, mountain bike pump tracks, a mountaintop observation deck, and paddling access to the Catawba River and Lake Norman. Staffed by professional park rangers, Catawba County Parks are open 362 days per year with seasonally-adjusted hours to maximize available daylight. For more information, visit