Named after the Purple Martin bird that appeared on General Griffith Rutherford's family crest, the Purple Martin Greenway is Rutherfordton's first natural trail system. Along this trail you can explore wildlife, creeks, waterfalls and local plant life. The trail is bike, kid and pet friendly as well as handicap accessible. Located just off US Hwy 221, south of downtown Rutherfordton, the greenway is a hidden gem that feels like a true wilderness escape yet has the convenience of being close to shopping and restaurants.
Phase 1 opened in the fall of 2015 and includes an easy .5 mile stroll along Cleghorn Creek complete with picnic shelter and a small creek waterfall. Phase 2 launched in 2017 and added .7 mile to the trail, bringing the total length 1.2 miles. Phase 3 was added .7 miles at the end of 2017 extending the trail to almost 2 miles, and connecting it to the Charlotte Rd. which runs perpendicular to Main Street in downtown Rutherfordton.
Phase 4 of the Purple Martin Greenway will connect the existing trail to the newly constructed Kiwanis Park.