The Best Places to Go Hiking in Charlotte

Do you love the outdoors and spending time in nature? If so, Charlotte is the perfect place for you.

The city has plenty of parks and green spaces that are perfect for hiking. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the best places to go hiking in Charlotte. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced hiker, there is something for everyone in this city.

1. Colonel Francis Beatty Park Loop

If you are planning on hiking in Charlotte, you should not miss the Colonel Francis Beatty Park Loop. The single track loop extends 6.9 KM and has an elevation gain of 68 meters. This moderately challenging hiking loop takes around 1 hour and 37 minutes on average to complete.

Other than hiking, it is also popular for fishing and watching birds. It is suitable for hikers of all ages and all skill levels. So, you will encounter fellow hikers on the loop in all probability.

Being a calm trail, you will have a beautiful hike and a great time here amidst nature. The loop remains open throughout the year. But they do not allow mountain bikes when the trails are wet due to rain. Your dog may accompany you on the trail on a leash.

2. Clark Creeks Greenway

Clark Creek Greenway is another route that one should not miss while hiking in Charlotte. This out-and-back trail stretches 8.7 KM with an elevation gain of 57 meters. The average time of completion is 1 hour and 58 minutes.

It is also an easy route for hikers of all ages and skill levels. People also go there for bird watching and trail running.

You can walk along the creek enjoying the enchanting sound of the waterfalls and watch birds on your way. One can walk on the nicely paved route under shade in most parts of the trail. There are rails and the bridges are smooth. But people having mobility issues may need assistance.

This beautiful trail welcomes people year-round. Your dog may accompany you on the trail on a leash.

3. Lower McAlpine Creek and McMullen Creek Greenways

You can check out Lower McAlpine Creek and McMullen Creek Greenways for hiking in Charlotte. This out-and-back trail happens to be near Charlotte and consists of an easy route.

The trail is 13.4 kilometers long and the elevation gain is 34 meters only.

Starting at the Lower McAlpine Creek Greenway, it connects to the McMullen Creek Greenway and is suitable for everyone of all skill levels. One can cover the entire route in approximately 2 hours and 55 minutes.

The being almost flat all the way, one can cover it by jogging. It is a great place to enjoy solitude amidst nature. Road biking is also possible. You can put your dog off the leash in some areas. You can visit this beautiful trail anytime in the year.

4. Reedy Creek Park and Nature Center

It lets one enjoy one of the best trails for hiking in charlotte. The trail is 10 miles long and boasts many amenities.

Visiting the north side, you can have access to a dog park, ball fields, playgrounds, and unique picnic facilities. The southern trail begins at the Nature Center. One can explore more pristine parks there. Once you take the Umbrella Trail and the Big Oak Trail, it leads you to the Piedmont forest.

You can also visit the Robinson Rockhouse Ruins. It will give you an idea of how the elites lived in Charlotte in the late 1700s. Follow the Sierra Loop, Sassafras, and Dragonfly trails to return. They will offer you much to explore and enjoy.

5. Latta Plantation Nature Center and Preserve

With its 1460-acre facility, the Latta Plantation Nature Center and Preserve is one of the most popular options for hiking in Charlotte.

It consists of a 16 miles long hiking trail. The trail has a rich collection of wildlife. Don’t get surprised if, by chance, you happen to share the trail with a four-legged friend.

It is the lone trail in Charlotte that allows a ride on a horseback on the trail. One can cover almost 13 miles of the trail on horseback.

Approximately 3 miles is a hikers-only trail. The trail also has a series of interconnected loops that divide it into three trails. One can also hike the 4.2 miles long Hill, Cove, and Split Rock trails loop.

6. McDowell Nature Center and Preserve

Hiking in Charlotte is never complete without visiting the McDowell Nature Center and Preserve.

It is the oldest nature preserve in Mecklenburg County with an area of over 1100 acres area and offers a trail of approximately 7 miles of ranging difficulties.

The loop starts at Pine Hollow, Creekside. Hiking there one can outdoor enthusiasts can explore the best greenery in the Charlotte area in some parts. One also enjoys the view of Lake Wylie. Hiking through Cedar Ridge trails takes you away from the lake and enters into a forest. Lucky hikers come across the wildlife of the area.

The place is open seven days a week. Going up to the Cove one can have a see how a small creek transformed into wetlands and a manmade lake.

7. U.S. National White Water Center Loop

When looking for hiking in Charlotte, it could be an ideal destination for outdoor enthusiasts.

This loop trail near Charlotte is 14 kilometers long. This route type loop has an elevation gain of 201 meters and is moderately challenging. One can complete it in approximately 3 hours and 40 minutes.

People also do mountain biking there. One needs to pay an entry fee of $6 at the gate.

Hiking this loop you can explore the best of the US National Whitewater Center covering the Carpet Loop, Lake Loop, North Main Loop, and North Main Loop. They allow dogs only on a leash.

8. Evergreen Nature Preserve loop

You may also try the Evergreen Nature Preserve loop while hiking in Charlotte. It is an easy trail with an elevation gain of only 28 meters.

One needs around 40 minutes to complete the loop. It is also ideal for bird watching and trail running.

This beautiful trail remains open year-round. This trail is made of multiple small trails including Clear Creek Trail, Potters Road Trail, and Tulip Tree Trail.

It ends in a neighborhood park that has a parking area at the trailhead and also has restroom facilities and a picnic shelter. You can Hike with your on a leash.


There are many great places to go hiking in Charlotte, North Carolina. With so many options available, there is sure to be a trail that is perfect for you.

Whether you are looking for a challenging hike or an easy walk, Charlotte has something to offer. So get out there and explore the best that this city has to offer!

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