2017 Jim Schmid bicycles 8-mile Thermal Belt Rail-Trail – NC

Less than an hour east of Black Mtn, NC is the 8-mile Thermal Belt Rail-Trail in Rutherfordton County. I started my bicycle ride in the small town of Gilkey at the northern terminus of the trail located at Oak Springs Road off US 221. I bicycled the 8 miles to Spindale and back. The first 6 miles consist of hardpacked gravel. The last two miles leading into Spindale are paved. There are plans to extend the trail into Forest City. I first biked the trail in February of 2015.