Mountain Creek Park
Mountain Creek Park
Located on the northwestern tip of Lake Norman in Sherrills Ford, this 606-acre park features an extensive 19.52-mile multi-use trail network designed to optimize mountain biking and a host of other amenities including an adventure playground, a mountain bike skills course and tool stations, pickleball courts, a dog park, fishing pier, canoe/kayak launch, an outdoor classroom, an observation platform, picnic shelters and a paved ADA-accessible trail that winds through a quiet cove.
Mountain biking is at the heart of Mountain Creek Park. Along with dedicated bike-only trails and endless route combinations, Mountain Creek Park has quickly become a regional mountain biking destination.
6554 Little Mountain Rd.
Sherrills Ford, NC 28673
The entrance to the park is located directly on Little Mountain Road. If you're headed to the park and using a navigation app, please note that some apps, especially if they haven't been recently updated, may take you to the wrong location. To ensure find us, enter the park's street address or GPS coordinates (35.59855, -81.03185) to get to our entrance on Little Mountain Road. If your navigation system takes you off Little Mountain Road to find our entrance, please note this is not correct.
Trails close to biking and hiking based on wet conditions for both safety and trail conservation. To see current trail status, please visit us on Facebook @CatawbaCountyParksNC, on Instagram @catawbacountyparks, or check out the Tarheel Trailblazers trail status page. You may also call the park office during park operating hours at (828) 465-9645.
Why do we close the trails at Mountain Creek Park?
Trails are dynamic and can change based on activity and conditions. Trails are at highest risk for damage during and after inclement weather, when visitor traffic in wet conditions can cause erosion and rutting – and because they’re so shaded, they might take a little longer to be ready for safe exploring. Trails can also experience a freeze-thaw cycle during periods of low temps, which makes them more susceptible to damage. When we experience any of these conditions, we will close our trails to help preserve them for your future enjoyment. If you’re planning a trip to our trails at Mountain Creek Park, we encourage you to be mindful of recent weather conditions and check our trail status ahead of time.
Get a Georeferenced Trail Map
OPTION 1: Avenza Maps
Follow these steps:
- Download the Avenza app from Apple store or Google play store
- Click the word "HERE" below
- For an iPhone, select the save button and scroll to "more" where you can select Avenza Maps. For Android, choose Avenza to open
- Once the Avenza maps opens, the map will appear and be ready for use
Click HERE for downloadable georeferenced trail map for use in the Avenza app
OPTION 2: Interactive GIS Map
Click HERE for an interactive georeferenced trail map
The park's 19.52-mile trail network includes a mix of multi-use trails shared with bikers and one “hiker-only” trail for 14.8 miles of hiking, including a 0.9-mile paved ADA-accessible trail that winds through a quiet cove to a picnic area and lakeside amenities.
18 miles of mountain biking trails make up a technical, single lane course for the biking enthusiast. Some trails are tight and twisty; some rolling and swooping; others include dirt rollers, berms, table tops, rock jumps, gullies, drops, and sweeping turns. The park’s trail network includes 15.13 miles of multi-use trails shared with hikers and 3.81 bike-only trail miles.
A 1.2-acre pump track consisting of a looped sequence of rollers, berms and banked turns is located within the park for riders to practice their balance, learn skills and improve their confidence on a bike. A tot track consisting of a simple rolling singletrack is adjacent to the pump track. Tool stations for common bike maintenance are located at the pump track and at the lakefront trailhead.
A treehouse-style playground inspired by nature is the centerpiece of Mountain Creek Park. Built by Beanstalk Builders, the playground is designed for children of all abilities to engage, challenge and promote well-being and discovery for hours of adventure and play. Situated on just under an acre of play space, the playground includes 3 slides, rope bridges and skywalks, a climbing wall, an ADA-accessible Mountain Laurel tunnel, a sky hammock, a vine climb, a rope swing and more.
Four pickleball courts are located within the park and are available on a first-come basis. Players should bring their own equipment as none is available at the park.
A fenced-in dog park consists of a 1-acre area for any size dogs and a 0.6-acre area for small dogs under 30 lbs, allowing dogs of all sizes to run and play with other dogs without wearing a leash. Leashed dogs are allowed on trails throughout the park.
Enjoy fishing at the mouth of Mountain Creek as it feeds into Lake Norman. The pier includes benches for relaxation and wildlife observation. Common species to fish for off the pier include bass, bream, yellow perch and catfish. Regulations of the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission apply.
Put in your canoe, kayak or SUP at the launch accessed from the lakefront parking lot next to the fishing pier to paddle up Mountain Creek or out into Lake Norman. The park does not provide or rent equipment, so paddlers must bring all of their own gear. The nearest public takeout is 5 miles south at the Little Creek access area.
A curved, tiered, amphitheater-style space is located near the lower restroom and picnic area for presentations and educational events. The upper level is accessible to persons with disabilities.
11 shaded picnic tables and 3 covered shelters with tables offer places to enjoy a picnic or group gathering. Benches can be found throughout the park to sit and rest. All are available on a first-come, space-available basis, but shelters can be reserved ahead of time by calling the park office.
In addition to the shelters, a 648-square-foot indoor meeting room can be used for your educational programs (reservations required ahead of time). Guided outdoor interpretive tours led by one of our knowledgeable rangers can be arranged for groups by contacting the park office. The park also sponsors educational events periodically. Watch for them on Facebook (@CatawbaCountyParksNC).
A variety of habitats and wildlife can be found at Mountain Creek Park. Along the creek, mudflats can be seen when water is low. This provides habitats for shorebirds, wading birds, river otters, beavers, turtles and more. Visitors to the fishing pier are likely to see Ospreys diving into the water to catch fish. In the northern section of the park, old growth Beech, Hickory and Oak forest is home to chipmunks, American mink, turkey, whitetail deer, and various other mammals and birds. A variety of plant life can be found throughout the park.
An 846-square-foot area inside the park office serves as the Kitty Barnes Nature Center with informational displays and exhibits, live reptiles, taxidermy animals, books and hands-on activities for kids to educate about local plants, insects and wildlife. A nature-themed selfie mural is painted on a wall for photo opportunities for visitors. You will also find a Little Free Library and an American flag retirement drop box outside of the building.
Please ask about ways you can volunteer to help maintain/improve our parks or sponsor a public event.
Mountain Creek Park Frequently Asked Questions
No plans have been made to add a splash pad at Mountain Creek Park. Additionally, the infrastructure needed to support a splash pad at the park (water lines, etc.) does not exist in the area. Within the county, you can find splash pads at Conover City Park, Lowes Foods City Park (Hickory), Kiwanis Park (Hickory), Maiden Municipal Park, the Newton Splash Zone, and the Newton Swimming Pool.
No plans have been made to add a disc golf course at Mountain Creek Park. Within the county, you can find disc golf courses at Glenn Hilton Park in Hickory and Jacob Fork Park in Newton.
No plans have been made to add amenities to Mountain Creek Park. We are focused on maintaining the current park amenities and trail system in a sustainable way as our newest park matures over time.
No plans have been made for a Phase 2 at Mountain Creek. We are focused on maintaining the current park amenities and trail system in a sustainable way as our newest park matures over time.
During the planning phases, a long list of amenities was considered for Mountain Creek. Because of budget, space and conservation easement restrictions, plans for the park could not include all of those amenities. It was suggested that if the County ever considered developing a Phase 2 down the road, those amenities could potentially be reconsidered. However, no plans have been made for a Phase 2.