The small town of Midland boasts a big history as the site of America’s first documented discovery of gold! Today — centuries after that incredible find in 1799 — Reed Gold Mine guests can pan for gold in search of their own treasure.
Along with this must-see historic site, the town offers plenty of fun attractions and beautiful scenery to keep visitors busy and happy — from sipping wine at a vineyard to kayaking to seasonal U-Pick farms and more.
Here are five ideas to inspire your trip to Midland.
1. Have Fun on the Farm
Midland is a town set amid farmers, producers, bakers and beekeepers — which means it’s full of fresh produce and delicious local goods. Midland Farms sells local meats, cheeses, eggs, butters and honeys that can’t be matched by anything you’ll find in a large chain grocery store. Not only will you find unique specialty goods to bring home, but you’ll also support the local farmers and artisans who keep Midland such a special (and tasty) place.
Seasonal on-farm experiences are also available in Midland. In the spring, Deer Run Farm offers a family-friendly setting to pick your own juicy, ripe strawberries. When fall rolls around, your whole crew will love hopping on a hayride to select a pumpkin from the patch at Riverbend Farm during the month of October. Check out their websites and social media channels for the most up-to-date information on hours and availability.
2. Host a Picnic in the Park
After stocking up on specialty foods at Midland Farms, it’s time for a picnic! Head to Rob Wallace Park — the biggest park in Cabarrus County — which offers 143 acres of greenspace to enjoy. After dining, you can hit the bike trails, go fishing, head to the playground or enjoy a peaceful stroll around the boardwalk.
Rather have lunch at a local restaurant instead? When it comes to homestyle meals in Midland, both Bob’s Family Restaurant and D’Anna’s Kitchen cook up the classics. Or stick with dining al fresco by stopping at The Sundae Shop for a burger and fries, milkshakes and more.
3. Take a Hike, Launch a Kayak
The Riverbend Farm Trail, part of the Carolina Thread Trail, is a picturesque trail that winds through wooded areas. You can walk out and back, about .8 miles each way, through the gently sloping trail. Or you can bring a canoe or kayak and launch it from a site on the Rocky River not far from where the trail begins. Whether you choose to travel on foot or by water on the Rocky River Blueway, it’s a serene way to spend an afternoon.
4. Pan for Gold
The first time someone struck gold in Midland, the year was 1799 and the discoverer was a 12-year-old named Conrad Reed. Still today, kids come here to pan for gold at Reed Gold Mine. And although their findings tend to be much more modest than the 17-pound gold nugget that Conrad found, it’s still a fun Midland tradition each April through October. Even if you don’t come to pan for gold, Reed Gold Mine offers walking trails and underground tunnels to explore.
5. Join Friends for a Wine Tasting
Enjoy a leisurely afternoon sipping wine at Rocky River Vineyards, which offers everything from a sweet Muscadine to a full-bodied Chambourcin. Can’t decide which to order? Try the sit-down tasting experience and sample eight different wines or choose a wine flight of five pours. The winery offers several comfy places to perch with your wine and friends — whether on the porch, around a fire pit or at a table surrounded by trees. Rocky River Vineyards is a local favorite, and it’s been family owned and operated since opening in 2007. Keep up with the winery’s calendar for special events, including festivals, campouts and more.