"Welcome to Goat Island Park and Greenway" was the sign I saw upon entering the park in Cramerton in Gaston County. I had heard about this island park and decided it was time for a visit. The 29-acre park is located in the middle of the South Fork River of the Catawba River. Yes, you read that right. The park is located in the middle of the river.
Opened in 2012, this park has a 181-foot pedestrian bridge that gives you access to the park from a parking area. Once in the park, there are lots of amenities to be found including walking trails, greenway, playground, 18-hole disc golf course, fishing pier, canoe/kayak portage, shelters with grills, a dog park, outdoor permanent cornhole boards and table tennis boards. There is a second pedestrian bridge that lets you enter from the town center.
The afternoon I chose to visit was one of those days where the temperature was in the high 90s and the dew point in the low 70s, and there just were not a lot of people out enjoying the park while I was there. I did see one adult with several kids go into the park, but they did not stay too long due to the heat.
While the greenway is part of the Carolina Thread Trail, one amenity that really caught my eye was the Goat Island Fitness Pavilion. It is an outside gym. With a concrete floor and canopy roof, it provides the central area for a variety of outdoor fitness equipment. Even though it was hot, I did try out the elliptical for a few minutes.
If you find yourself in this area and are looking for a unique park location, give Goat Island Park and Greenway a try. For more information visit http://cramerton.org/departments/parks-recreation/shelters/