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Celebrate Trails, Trains, Fly-Fishing and the Great Outdoors in Old Fort This Summer

As one of the “Top 23 Places to visit in 2024”, Old Fort, North Carolina is rising in popularity as the destination for hiking, mtb, fly-fishing, and so much more.

This Summer, the Town of Old Fort wants you to come celebrate the town’s growing outdoor recreation community and rich history of railways. 

Trails & Trains Day Festival takes place on June 1st, 2024 but spans across the entire weekend.  Kick off your weekend with an in-town block party, featuring live music and entertainment from local musicians.  Additionally, that Friday will also coincide with the NC Forest Service Grand Reopening of Catawba Falls. Public parking throughout the town allows visitors to drop into historic downtown and take a free shuttle to the newly improved Catawba Falls Trail. 

On Saturday, June 1st, enjoy a full day of outdoor themed activities, sporting events, and kid’s activities!

Beginning and ending at the Old Fort Town Hall, the second annual Fonta Flora Fun Run is an untimed 3.1-mile route that takes you by all the landmarks of downtown Old Fort!  This race is the opener for the Trails and Trains Festival, celebrating North Carolina’s Great Trails State.  This event celebrates the small Blue Ridge Mountain community of Old Fort by focusing on its pathways and connections through the town’s railroad and Pisgah National Forest history. 

People of all abilities and ages are welcome to participate in this event. Register by May 10th to ensure you get a t-shirt in your race packet!

The Ridge To Rails Half & 10K sweeps through Old Fort’s new Gateway Trail System, allowing participants the chance to experience the town’s newest trail network through the Pisgah National Forest.  Registration is available through Tanawha Adventures or more information can be found on the Blue Ridge Traveler website. 

Throughout the day on June 1st, visitors are welcome to take a shuttle service to Catawba Falls, explore downtown Old Fort, or participate in multiple free art workshops, free speakers, demonstrations on fly-fishing, and several kid-themed activities.  The afternoon closes with historic talks about the county’s railroad history, and a duck race! 

But the celebrations don’t stop there. Grab a seat at Euda Wine, Old Fort’s new wine bar and winemaking establishment run by husband and wife team Michael and Abi McGeary. Euda Wine and McDowell County TDA will be hosting the 2024 Fly Fishing Film Tour (F3T). Featuring the very best fly fishing films, this exclusive film festival will feature giveaways, an intermission, and introductions from our outdoor partners. Tickets are available online for this two-hour event that features an intermission and giveaway!

Closing out the event is the Gateway Youth Express MTB race.  A post-interscholastic season event in true Pisgah Productions style: 100% fun focused, with a laid back atmosphere, professional RFID timing, and a race course that has some bite. Centered at the Gateway Trails in Old Fort, NC there is plenty of parking, room for team pits, and miles of beginner to intermediate trails.

6th and 7th grade level athletes will be treated to a 4.3 mile, 446′ single track course with plenty of room to pass and just a few technical sections.

8th grade, 9th grade and Junior Varsity level athletes will experience a 6 mile, 689′ single track course that includes stretches of narrow corridor, more technical sections, and a long flow-trail style descent along the way. Registration is filling up, so make sure sign up your school-aged participant ASAP.

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