This is part of the extensive Latta Plantation Nature Preserve trail system. Parking next to the nature center, I took the Hill Trail almost out to its end. I then returned by including the Cove and Split Rock Trails. The Hill Trail is wide and is often shared with horses from the equestrian center. The Cove Trail loops through the woods, getting you close to the lake in several places. The trail is filled with small rocks. I had to be careful with all the leaves on the ground. The split Rock Trail also gets you close to the water, and is not nearly as rocky. I really enjoyed the combination of trails on a beautiful fall day.
It was fun! Good hike for a beginner, not to challenging and not to easy. There are great views of the the water with a couple of access points. It is still winter so not a lot of foliage, so more of a spring thru fall if you want more to look at.
The trails are great, view is awesome and they have a lot of family friendly activities right near the park. You can go the raptors center or go horse back riding. The trails are also dog friendly but leashes are required!! Still a great day trip for anyone!
Latta Plantation has a variety of intersecting trails, giving you a variety of options in both distance and scenery. Our hike took in portions of the Hill, Split Rock and Cove Trails for a total distance of 5.4 miles. The Hill Trail is essentially a gravel service road to give the power company access to power lines. The Split Rock trail takes you into the woods for a cooler and more remote stroll. The cove trail follows a portion of the Mountain Island Lake shoreline.
Recent heavy rains left a few sections of the Cove Trail flooded out, but it was not difficult to find an alternate route around the water. Exposed roots and some fairly rocky conditions demand that you pay attention to your footing and might make a hike difficult for some.
Park at the Latta Plantation Nature Center parking lot, where you can pick up a map, then follow the connector trail to the hill trail, which will take you out to the other, intersecting trails. There is no cost. All in all, this is a nice, quick getaway from the urban atmosphere of nearby Charlotte.