Goat island park
Goat island park
Goat island park
Goat island park

City of Cramerton

Goat Island Park

Goat Island Park received its unusual name from textile engineer, Stuart Cramer, who facilitated the exponential growth of the Town of Cramerton and after whom the Town was named. Cramer released goats on the island to control vegetation as early as 1910; thus, the park was named Goat Island Park.

McGill provided planning, design, and construction phase services for the spacious 30-acre Goat Island Park, wooded with mature hardwoods, vegetation, and wetlands. Throughout the development of the island, our team took special measures to preserve these natural elements.

Cramerton, nc state map

The Challenge

Due to its location on an island in the floodplain of the South Fork Catawba River, the project required extensive environmental permitting and the construction of two bridges to provide access. Key design challenges included permitting and construction in a floodway, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) permitting process, and bridge design.

Our Solution

We completed the planning, design, and construction phase services in two phases. Two pedestrian bridges connect the downtown district and the neighboring residential community as a result of this project. This connection promotes and allows residents to access not only the island, but also other areas of Town via walking and bicycling. McGill also included a treehouse-themed adventure playground through Beanstalk Builders. The second phase of the project focused on construction of the second pedestrian bridge and greenway.

The Results

Due to the nature of the site being an island, water-based recreation is a primary focus for the park. Facilities consist of an 18-hole disc golf course, adventure playground, picnic shelters, riverwalk, amphitheater, fishing pier, fitness pavilion, and walking trails. These amenities provide activities for all age groups in the areas of water-based recreation, passive recreation, and family entertainment, as well as other recreational and educational programming events.

A portion of this project was funded through the North Carolina Parks and Recreation Trust Fund (PARTF). The Goat Island Greenway is part of the Carolina Thread Trail, a regional network of connected greenways and trails traveling through 15 counties and 2 states that reaches 2.9 million people and provides key linkages between communities. The Carolina Thread Trail, with its name rooted in the region’s rich textile heritage, preserves natural areas and is a place for recreation, transportation, and conservation.

“It was an absolute joy working with the Cramerton Board of Commissioners and Town staff on the Goat Island Park project. The Town was totally invested in the concept of establishing a community recreation asset as a catalyst in attracting more folks downtown to enjoy more of what Cramerton has to offer. I stop by Goat Island in my travels as often as I can because it brings me personal satisfaction as a McGill project that was well done.”

  • Joel Storrow
    Principal / Past President

Goat island park rendering


Public agencies that reviewed the project included the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ), Duke Energy, and FERC.

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Grant Funding

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Project Services Included:

  • Site-specific master planning
  • Grant funding
  • Design
  • Permitting
  • Bidding and award
  • Construction administration
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