Rankin Lake Park

rankin-lake-dockRankin Lake has been a community landmark for the citizens of Gastonia and Gaston County since its construction in 1922 on 242 City-owned acres as a reservoir to provide the City’s drinking water. Early work to the park by the depression-era Works Progress Administration helped to develop it as Gastonia’s second City park. Rankin Lake Park expanded public recreation in the area and was a favorite spot for family gatherings, picnicking, bank fishing, and other passive activities. To protect the lake as a first class water source, the City fenced off the lakeside part of the property in the late 1980s, which would then deny public access for more than twenty years. As the lake evolved into a secondary/emergency water source, and governing perceptions changed about public recreation on the lake, the park received the support and funding for a major renovation project that was completed in August 2012.  

Rankin Lake Clubhouse 2The park features a clubhouse with tables and chairs to accommodate group rentals, a “warming” kitchen, and restrooms; two lakeside, corporate picnic shelters; one large picnic shelter; eight small picnic shelters; an 18-hole disc golf course; two horseshoe courts; an outdoor classroom; trailhead and connector to the Highland Rail Trail of the greenway system; two boardwalks over Kaylor Creek; an approximately 80 acre lake with a 1.569 mile paved trail around the perimeter; wooden boardwalk over the lake spillway; two fishing piers; one viewing pier; a lake office to handle boat rentals (jon boats, canoes, kayaks, and pedal boats) and fishing permits; and a restroom building.
Park Hours of Operation:  7:00 AM - 6:30 PM
The clubhouse and picnic shelters may be rented by families, churches, companies or other groups for a variety of social and business functions.Rankin Lake Playground 4

The Administrative Office schedules clubhouse and shelter reservations for Rankin Lake Park.

Contact Information:
Administrative Office
109 W. Second Avenue, Gastonia, NC 28052
(P.O. Box 1748, Gastonia, NC 28053-1748)
704.866.6839 (office)
704.842.5104 (fax)
Physical Address:
1750 Rankin Lake Road
Gastonia, NC 28052

For more information on Rankin Lake Boating and Fishing, see the Quick Links section to the right.


Gastonia, N.C., just minutes west of Charlotte, is one of the area’s best places to live and work with an ideal combination of location, size and livability. Gastonia is the largest of Gaston County’s 13 municipalities and one of the largest cities in the Charlotte metropolitan area. Selected as an All-America City three times, Gastonia’s desirable quality of life is the result of its beautiful natural surroundings, friendly neighborhoods, responsive government and vibrant business environment.


✆ 704-866-6714

⟟ 181 S. South Street
Gastonia, NC 28052