This trail is 2.9-miles and consists of natural and paved surfaces. The paved portion of the trail extends from the trailhead to Timberlake Point street just short of the Lake Wylie road bridge crossing. The natural surface trail extends from the trailhead along the shoreline of Lake Wylie and is located on 78 acres of preserved land managed by the Catawba Lands Conservancy. The trail also connects to other trails at the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden, including two segments at either end of the trail that create a 5-mile loop from the trailhead at the Duke Kimbrell Trail. The Persimmon Trail connects to the garden's parking lot. Visitors can continue along the back side of the parking lot along the Boulevard Trail and can then pick up on the Worrell's Walk trail. The Worrell's Walk trail connects back to the Duke Kimbrell Trail and finishes the loop. Visitors do not have to pay the garden to walk on their trails.
*Special Note: Bicycles are allowed on the Duke Kimbrell Trail BUT NOT ALLOWED on the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden's trails. Please do not ride the natural surface portions of the trail in wet conditions.
The Seven Oaks Preserve, within which the Duke Kimbrell Trail is located, protects sensitive areas around the lake and safeguards habitat for wild turkeys, turtles and native wildflowers. In the spring, visitor will enjoy the fragrant scent of blooming snowbell (Styrax grandifliou). Seven Oaks Preserve also has some magnificent swamp chestnut oak trees (Quercus michauxii) along the lake. This impressive species has a rich history in the lowland areas with their wood once serving to make farm baskets. The swamp chestnut oak trees also produce large, sweet acorns that are an important food for many animals. In addition to these unusual oaks, there are huge tulip poplars (Liriodendron tulipifera), paw paws (Asimina triloba) and persimmon trees (Diospyros virginiana). Opreys, eagles, and kingfishers are occasionally seen flying over the water.
The trail was renamed by the Carolina Thread Trail to recognize a generous gift made by the Warlick Family Foundation to the organization. The Warlick family asked CTT to name the trail in honor of the late leader of Parkdale Mills, W. Duke Kimbrell. It was CTT's honor to do so because of W. Duke Kimbrell's service as a U.S. Army veteran of WWII and devote community servant in Gaston County through his leadership with the United Way, Gaston Day School, the Boy Scouts, the Schiele Museum, Covenant Village, the Gaston Community Foundation, and others. Because of his great leadership and dedication to community service Mr. Duke Kimbrell received numerous awards including North Carolina's "The Order of the Long Leaf Pine" in 2003. He passed away peacefully on October 22, 2014 leaving a wonderful legacy for all to admire and emulate.
The Duke Kimbrell Trail is a part of the Butterfly Highway. "The Butterfly Highway is a statewide conservation restoration initiative that aims to restore native pollinator habitats to areas impacted by urbanization, land use change and agriculture across North Carolina. From backyard Pollinator Pitstops to large-scale roadside habitat restoration, the project is creating a network of native flowering plants to support butterflies, bees, birds and other pollen and nectar dependent wildlife." NC Wildlife Federation-Butterfly Highway Website
Visit the Catawba Lands Conservancy's website for more information or contact:
Parking Address: Near 6900 S New Hope Road, Belmont, NC 28012 MAP
Trailhead Location: MAP
Additional Directions: There is additional parking located at the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden.
Address - 6500 South New Hope Road MAP
Follow the Persimmon Trail to the Duke Kimbrell Trail.
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