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Get into Gaffney and Explore the Outdoors

Marie McAden Marie McAden
A former staffer with The Miami Herald, Marie moved to SC in 1992. She is passionate about the outdoors, and enjoys exploring the state’s many natural treasures from the Lowcountry to the Upstate.
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Cowpens National Battlefield and Kings Mountain National Military Park—two of the most popular attractions near Gaffney—offer visitors the opportunity to get outdoors and experience the Piedmont’s beautiful rolling terrain.

At Cowpens, the 1.25-mile battlefield loop trail takes you to the pastureland where the famed skirmish took place Jan. 17, 1781. Kings Mountain offers its own short battlefield trail along with several backcountry treks, among them a 2.5-mile wooded trail to the top of Browns Mountain—the highest of three monadnocks in the military park—and a 3-mile footpath along the banks of Clarks Creek to Lake Crawford in the nearby Kings Mountain State Park.

Gaffney’s Revolutionary War legacy provides another popular hiking option—the 7.5-mile Lake Whelchel loop trail. Open to mountain bikers, hikers and runners, it follows part of the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail that stretches 330 miles through Virginia, Tennessee and the Carolinas, tracing the route used by patriot militia to the Kings Mountain battlefield. The natural surface trail features 15 boardwalks, four bridges and beautiful views of the 150-acre reservoir.

Lake Whelchel also offers shorter routes, including a 1-mile trail to the lake, as well a boat ramp and picnic area with restrooms.

You can walk another part of the historic Overmountain Victory Trail at the Cherokee Ford Recreation Complex on Wolf Den Lane. The 1-mile loop includes the section where patriot soldiers crossed the Broad River on their journey to Kings Mountain.

Gaffney’s eight parks offer more opportunities for recreational fun. Henry L. Jolly Park features a walking track and fitness stations along with an amphitheater that serves as the venue for free concerts and other city events. You’ll find ballfields at Irene, Willow Street and Mayberry parks, tennis courts at Thomson Park and skateboarding ramps at Irene Skateboard Park.

For the younger set, there are playgrounds at McCluney Park, West End Park, Park Place and Azell Robbs Park. Those simply looking for a quiet spot to sit outside or read a book will enjoy John Q Little Park and Gaffney City Park adjacent to City Hall, both featuring decorative fountains.

You’ll also find plenty of indoor recreation in Gaffney. Skateland of Gaffney offers roller skating and inflatables. The Big E Gaffney features bowling, laser tag and a two-story play structure with slides, swings, rope bridges and foam ball cannons that will keep your kids entertained for hours. The entertainment complex also includes an outdoor miniature golf course and ropes challenge course.

If you’re looking to hit the fairways on your Gaffney vacation, check out Cherokee National Golf and Recreation Club, offering terrific views, well-groomed fairways and greens, and challenging play for golfers of all skill levels.

Marie McAden
A former staffer with The Miami Herald, Marie moved to SC in 1992. She is passionate about the outdoors, and enjoys exploring the state’s many natural treasures from the Lowcountry to the Upstate.