nature trips


mountain biking





wild flowers

dogs on leash

At Lake Norman State Park, fun is just a matter of scale. On one hand, there's the largest manmade lake in the state, Lake Norman. When filled to capacity, its surface area is 32,510 acres with a shoreline of 520 miles and a main channel 34 miles in length thus its nickname, the "Inland Sea." Thirteen miles of the shoreline are in the state park, which provides boating access. On another hand, the park boasts its own 33-acre lake where fishing and boating are enjoyed. And with hiking and biking trails, picnic areas, interpretive programs and campgrounds, there's more to Lake Norman State Park than merely water.

2 months ago

Enjoyed this trail on Thanksgiving. Beautiful scenery on a beautiful day.

Part of the Itusi Trail, which is comprised of eight hiking/mountain biking loops ranging from 1.0 to 9.75 miles and totaling 30.5 miles. This loop combines the five trails most accessible from the visitor center (Monbo, Norwood Creek, Hawk, Hicks Creek and Laurel). I have hiked the four longest, with the short mile-long Hicks Creek Loop (connecting off of the Hawk Loop) being the exception. They were all on the easy to moderate side, with the Laurel Loop being the longest and having the most elevation change. It also has the most water views. The other three trails (Wildlife, Fallstown and Fox) connect to the southern end of Laurel Loop.

3 months ago

One of 8 loops that make up the 30.5 mile hiking/mountain biking Itusi Trail. Monbo is both easy and popular, with about 500 feet of elevation change in the 6.5 mile loop, including the short section from the visitor center parking area to the beginning of the trail. The only pretty views of the lake are to and from the trailhead, but it was an enjoyable walk in the woods.

Beautiful 5 mile hike, has the whole trail to myself (other than the few dozen squirrels). Rough terrain with lots of roots, a bit hilly, quiet, and peaceful!

4 months ago

first time hiking here. broke me off. great trails

Quiet and beautiful but you can still hear noises from homes across the lake or boats so not completely secluded. I only met a handful of people on the trail but it was mid-day on a Thursday, so that may have had something to do with it. Easy enough for a beginner, hard enough for experienced day-hikers to not feel bored. Appropriate for older children.

Fun trail, good distance, nice views, kid friendly

Good hike with some hills and pretty water views.

Nice we usually take the short turn trail shortening that walk to 2.7 miles. If you do the full trail the second half is fairly hilly. lots of nice lake views mostly on the first half.

As advertised, a nice little walk around the lake. The trail is not ideal for joggers, definitely an ankle twister with all the roots.

Great for families!

5 months ago

This is a nice, easy, and relaxing trail. So many fun stops to skip rocks and enjoy nature.

awww 3w33ww3w

We did the short trail. Plenty of ups and downs. Shaded all the way.

trail running
7 months ago

Absolutely loved this trail (I tried to record it for the app, but my cell service was spotty at best and I couldn't get it initiated). I was looking for a good trail run around Lake Norman that wasn't quite so populated so I hit this about 7am on a Sunday morning and it was PERFECT. When I got there the trail was "closed" from the weather, but I decided to risk it and run anyway (shhh, don't tell anyone!) I was unsure about it being a shared hiking/mountain bike trail but that turned out to be a huge plus. The obstacles and terrain features were a fun addition. The elevation changes were frequently up and down with being too extreme. The scenery was amazing! I jumped a few deer, the mist on the water deserved to be framed, and the early morning sunlight coming through the trees was transcendental. I'm from out of town but if I am ever back, this will be a must do. 5/7 would recommend ;)

Love this trail! I take my dog and 3 year old daughter often. It's shady and along the lake most of the trail! So beautiful!

This trail loop has several different options, depending on which direction you go and if you choose to take the road that cuts through to the other side. We hiked south from the trailhead and it is roughly 3.2 miles of easy hiking near the edge of the lake. The trail offers plenty of spots to stop and enjoy views of the water.

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