Founders Trail: Along the Catawba River

Yesterday, Sunday, 05 June 2022 we decided to try a different trail that I was told about on Saturday whil I was participating in the National Trails Day 1,000 Mile Challenge. The information was given to me by Debbie Zinsky Kiggans, the leader of the Anne Springs Close Greenway Hiking Club. She informed me about the Masons Ben Trail located in the Fort Mill area of South Carolina.

Following directions, we found the parking area to the Founders Trailhead, however, we did not locate the Masons Bend Trail. Afterwards, I looked at the trail map and it appears we did not hike far enough to venture off onto the Masons Bend Trail which appears to be a jaunt off of the Founders Trail.

Founders Trail
with my
hiking buddy,

The Founders Trail is a 2.3-mile mostly natural surface trail provides connectivity between the Piedmont Medical Center Trail, (AKA Riverwalk), and the Masons Bend Trail. It follows a beautiful stretch of the free flowing Catawba River.

taking a quick break,
on a bench
provided by Founders

From the North, users can utilize the trail parking at the end of Weir Court in the Masons Bend Neighborhood development. When you follow the trail southward, the trail runs along the River and provides a series of bridges and boardwalks. In various locations along the trail are strategically placed benches which allow hikers and other visitors to take a break and view the river. There is an overlook at the north end of the trail affording opportunities to be inspired by the marvelous views of the Catawba River. [We evidently did not go far enough along the trail, since we did not encounter the overlook.] The overlook area is stated to be around 1.9 miles into the trail. [We went 1.7 miles today before turning around to meet my daughter who just arrived at the trailhead.]

of the
Catawba River

If one chooses to head north on the Founders Trail, it will connect directly into the Masons Bend Trail allowing the user to travel an additional one and a quarter mile along the river.

of the
Catawba River
from Founders Trail

If one chooses to begin at the south end, trail users can utilize the trailhead of the Piedmont Medical Center Trail. Follow the trail north on Route 21. from there, the Founders Trail begins as a sidewalk along the Route 21 Bridge over the Catawba River. The sidewalk section runs for approximately 2000′ and transitions by making a “U-turn” to the right just after the guardrails and follows the old road back and travels underneath the Route 21 Bridge.

Views from the Founders Trail
Pump House and stairs
are across the river from our location

The Founders Trail consists of Natural surface, Gravel/stone, Boardwalk, Sidewalk, and Pavement. [ we never encountered the sidewalk or pavement on this hike.] The Trail is located both in the Rock Hill and the Fort Mill areas of South Carolina. The difficulty level of the Trail is designated as easy. [It was fairly easy for my two-year-old grandson.] Dogs are permitted on the trail with a 3-foot leash. If you choose to bring your dog, be sure to pick up after them. Remember to Leave No Trace, what you pack in, Pack out with you.

The Founders Trailhead has no restroom facilities, so it would be wise to plan ahead. The Trail is open from Dawn to Dusk. Parking is limited, only 15 spots available. [Parking was not crowded, and neither was the trail. So, if you which to practice social distancing that is not a problem along this trail.

Trail Map

I encourage you to find a local trail and get outdoors and enjoy nature. God bless. Thank you for visiting. Till next time, Remember I appreciate y’all.

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