A Hiker’s Guide to the Best Hiking Trails Near Charlotte, NC

 

The spring-like weather is already upon us here in North Carolina.  It is a wonderful time of year to get out and explore the hiking trails near Charlotte NC.  Nature enthusiasts will love North Carolina’s diverse terrain and hundreds of miles of trails for every skill level.  We’ve compiled a list of our favorite hiking trails near Charlotte NC so you’ll know the perfect place to get started.

Lake Norman State Park in Troutman, NC sits on over 1,900 acres on beautiful Lake Norman.  The park is home to 4 different trails offering lake views and places to stop and fish.  The Lake Shore Trail is a 3.5-mile loop and was voted as a must-see trail in Charlotte.  Beginner hikers will enjoy the park’s 2 easy trails: the Dragonfly Trail and the Alder Trail.  Both trails are less than a mile and open up to stunning views of the lake.

Offering 16 miles of trails is Latta Plantation Nature Center and Preserve in Huntersville, NC.  There are 5 trails at the Center that are dedicated to hikers only.  All members of the family will enjoy strolling the Cattail Trail and the Beechwood Trail boasting a variety of trees like tulip poplars, oaks, sweetgum trees, and red maples.  For more of a challenge, the 0.3 mile Piedmont Prairie Trail offers a few areas of steep inclines.  It is also a great spot to view the blooming spring wildflowers.

The McDowell Nature Preserve in Charlotte is home to 9 trails that total around 7 miles.  McDowell Nature Preserve has been 90% undeveloped and is the oldest in Mecklenburg County.  Start your hike at McDowell Nature Center on the Lake Wylie Trail.  The trail passes small creeks and is lined with Beech trees.  The 3.1-mile trail is rated moderate in difficulty and can take around 2 hours to complete.  Spend the afternoon bird watching at the Preserve’s Woodland Forest Trail.  The trail totals 2.8 miles passes through a forest of many trees including cedar, pine, and maple trees and seasonal wildflowers.

The Reedy Creek Park and Nature Preserve in Charlotte protects 737 acres of forested habitat.  There are over 10 miles of trails to explore at the preserve.  A must-see trail at the park is the Robinson Rockhouse Trail.  This short hike ends at the 200-year-old Robinson Rockhouse ruins which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  For a shady hike on a hot and humid day, check out the park’s Umbrella Tree Trail.  The 1-mile trail does have some hilly sections but it is well worth the steps for the views of the lush landscape and lush trees.

For a challenging hike, experienced hikers should definitely check out Crowders Mountain State Park in Kings Mountain, NC just outside of Charlotte.  A unique hike at the park is the Backside Trail where hikers will hike up 336 wooden steps.  The park is also home to the Fern Trail, the Crowders Trail, and the Family Camping Trail.  The park opens at 7:00 am and closes at either 8:00 pm or 9:00 pm depending on the season.

After a long day spent exploring the hiking trails near Charlotte NC, spend an evening with us at Davidson Village Inn.  The charming brick Inn was built in 1993 and features 18 rooms with private bath.  Breakfast is served each morning complete with coffee from local Summit Coffee, fresh fruits, yogurt, cereal, fresh baked goods, eggs, and juice.  We would love to have you spend some time relaxing with us at the Inn.  For reservation information, please give us a call at 704-892-8044.  We look forward to hosting you soon.