Now that the weather has finally cooled off but before winter storms arrive, it’s time to enjoy the great outdoors in and around Charlotte. For those who love to go for a walk and get out into nature, you don’t have to leave the Charlotte area to enjoy a hiking trail.
Clark’s Creek and Mallard Creek Greenways
Consider this less a hiking trail and more of a walking path, but Clark’s Creek and Mallard Creek Greenways are perfect for walkers, hikers, skateboarders, and cyclists. The Greenway is open from sunrise to sunset. Bring your dog (on a leash, of course) or put the kids in their stroller, and enjoy a bit of nature in the hustle and bustle of Charlotte.
Upper McAlpine Creek and Campbell Creek Greenway
If you’re more interested in checking out nature than going on a long walk, check out the Upper McAlpine Creek and Campbell Creek Greenway. Located in the Cotswold area of Charlotte, you can bring the whole family, from little babies to fur babies, to enjoy the trail. With beavers, otters, and more than 180 documented species of birds in the area, you’re certain to find some part of nature to admire.
Evergreen Nature Preserve
For hiking novices, stay close to home while breaking in your boots at the Evergreen Nature Preserve. It’s two miles long over 77 acres of lush green space. You’ll get the full experience of hiking in and around Charlotte with fewer challenges — which is great when you’re more comfortable on sidewalks than on dirt paths.
Latta Plantation Nature Preserve
Latta Plantation Nature Preserve extends over 16 miles, made up of three interconnected trails — Hill, Cove, and Split Rock. As you hike through this beautiful corner of Charlotte, you’ll discover a small prairie and the unique plant life of these grassy knolls. If you feel like you’ve stepped into the Wild West, you’re not alone. From the wild prairie grasses to the peek at Mountain Island Lake, you might forget you’re in Charlotte.
McDowell Nature Center
Want a quick hike full of nature trails and beautiful sights? Head to the McDowell Nature Center for seven miles to walk on the 1,107 acre preserve. You can enjoy the full range of natural beauty Charlotte has to offer from waterways to forests to beautiful valleys that also provide an opportunity for quick climbs.
Reedy Creek Park
Within the 10 miles that make up Reedy Creek Park, you have your choice of the experience you want to have for the day. The trail on the north side connects to amenities like the dog park, ball fields, and picnic area. You can spend a day in the fall weather with your family having plenty of fun. Head to the trail on the north side and now you’re in the midst of nature. Explore the forest or head to the Robinson Rockhouse Ruins to see how the elite lived circa 1700s Charlotte.
Ribbonwalk Nature Preserve
Want to get in touch with nature without leaving Charlotte? Escape the urban side of the city and head to the Ribbonwalk Nature Preserve. With three mile of trails to enjoy, this is more nature walk and less hiking adventure. You’ll have the opportunity to see nearly 200 species of plants, 53 species of birds, and 24 species of butterflies.
Green spaces and getting back to nature are good for relieving stress and living happier and healthier lives. No matter where you live in Charlotte, you’re not far from a hiking trail, greenway, or nature walk. Put on some sturdy shoes and head out into the great outdoors.