By Zach Goins
October 14, 2020 (updated)
The Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority has released a CLT Trail Guide. It turns out you don’t have to make the trek to the mountains of western North Carolina to find a solid trail to hike– there are plenty of places in the city. From lush, wooded paths to urban trails through the heart of the city, there’s a wide variety of adventures to help get you out and about.
The guide, spans six different trails equaling 22 miles of paths in and around the city, and the U.S. National Whitewater Center, which boasts over 45 miles of trails. In addition to laying out your navigation, the interactive resource highlights the surrounding neighborhoods with the ability to easily share an itinerary with friends. From restaurants or shops to the most Instagrammable backdrops for photo shoots, each trail has plenty of bonuses beyond just a new walking adventure.
Each trail listed in the guide is ideal for biking, running, or just a leisurely stroll, and the options are broken down by length and intensity level, so you can make the best pick.
Here’s a preview of what the six different trails have to offer:
The Skyline Trail – Uptown
Situated in the heart of Uptown, this urban trail will provide views of everything Charlotte has to offer. There are two different routes you can opt to take here, ranging from 2.3 to 2.6 miles, but both will take you past the city’s parks, like The Green and Romare Bearden, as well as some of Charlotte’s best museums and sports venues. The best part about these paths– other than the amazing views of the city– is that they both end with a treat, one wrapping up at Pinky’s Westside Grill and the other at Blue Blaze Brewing.
The Adventure Trail – Whitewater Center
If you’re looking to get a little wet, then the Adventure Trail might be for you. Situated inside the U.S. National Whitewater Center, this quick path takes you on a loop around all of the park’s man-made rapids. This one may be less than a mile, but don’t worry, the whitewater center has over 45 miles of other trails to explore, too. Plus, if you’re feeling adventurous you can check out rock climbing, mountain biking, ziplining, or any of the other extreme activities the center has to offer. Or, just kick back and relax at the on-campus restaurant and biergarten.
The Neighborhood Trail – South Charlotte
For those outside of Uptown– or people looking to escape the city for a bit– head to the Neighborhood Trail. Comprised of the Four Mile Creek Greenway and Lower McAlpine Creek Greenway, this trail allows you to fully immerse yourself in nature as you walk through a floodplain and wetland habitat. Don’t worry, though, you’re not out in the middle of nowhere. Ballantyne and Piper Glen are right around the corner, providing plenty of shopping and dining venues, as well as fancy houses for daydreaming.
The Award-Winning Trail – South End
If you’ve ever been to South End, you’ve probably walked along the 3.5-mile Rail Trail, and this path takes you through some of the trail’s best parts. Whether you’re walking or biking, be ready to start and stop, because there are plenty of eye-catching spots to grab your attention. From ice cream to craft beer, local shops to restaurants, there’s a reason this trail is called “award-winning.”
The Community Trail – Midtown
Kick things off with a brew or a bite at Devil’s Logic Brewing Co. before you get started exploring all the Midtown area has to offer. This trail delivers the best of both worlds, providing plenty of opportunities to get in touch with nature at stops like Little Sugar Creek Greenway or Freedom Park, or to explore shops and dining in Midtown and Dilworth.
The 49ers Trail – University City
This path at UNC-Charlotte can be as long or as short as you want, considering there’s 1,000 acres of campus to explore. If you want the full UNCC experience, you’ll need to start in Uptown to see the Dubois Center at UNCC Center City, before hopping on the light rail and riding 10 stops to the heart of campus. There, you can wander between dorms, lecture halls, botanical gardens and shops as you explore what life is like as a 49er.
In this article
- blue blaze brewing
- Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority
- clt trail guide
- Four Mile Creek Greenway
- freedom park
- Little Sugar Creek Greenway
- Lower McAlpine Creek Greenway
- pinky's westside grill
- Piper Glen
- Romare Bearden
- south charlotte
- South End
- The 49ers Trail
- The Green
- The Neighborhood Trail
- The Skyline Trail
- University City
- us national whitewater center
- walking trails