Best lake trails in Charlotte, North Carolina

1,748 Reviews
Explore the most popular lake trails near Charlotte with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.
Map of lake trails in Charlotte, North Carolina
Top trails (15)
#1 - Colonel Francis Beatty Park Loop
Charlotte, North Carolina
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(617)
Length: 4.3 mi • Est. 1 h 53 m
Singletrack loop with little, if any, elevation gain. Mildy technical, but all levels of experience can have a great time. It can be rooty at times, but fun walking or mountain biking at speed. Please note that mountain bikes are not allowed on trails when they are wet.Show more
#2 - U.S. National Whitewater Center Loop
U.S. National Whitewater Center
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(201)
Length: 8.7 mi • Est. 3 h 57 m
Note: There is a $6 entry fee at the gate. This loop combines the best of the US National Whitewater Center. It combines the North Main Loop, South Main Loop, Carpet Loop, and Lake Loop.Show more
#3 - Roller Coaster to Main Loop to Big Lake Loop
Sherman Branch Mountain Biking Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(236)
Length: 8.8 mi • Est. 3 h 54 m
This is a clockwise loop of singletrack trails. Great for geared XC bikes and single-speed. Show more
#4 - Lake Loop
U.S. National Whitewater Center
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(165)
Length: 2.8 mi • Est. 1 h 13 m
This is rated as a green dot difficult trail at the USNWC. It is a great beginner trail and warmup trail for those going to mountain bike here. Pretty views with some fun terrain.Show more
#5 - Shady Hollow and Pine Hollow Trail
McDowell Nature Preserve
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(88)
Length: 2.2 mi • Est. 1 h 3 m
#6 - Kingfisher Trail
McDowell Nature Preserve
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(96)
Length: 1.3 mi • Est. 34 m
The preserve features 9 trails totaling nearly 7 miles. All trails are marked with color symbols. Mountain bikes are not permitted on preserve trails. Dogs are welcome, but must remain on a 6-foot or shorter leash at all times. McDowell Nature Preserve preserves habitat for 119 species of birds, 21 species of mammals, 21 species of reptiles, and 14 species of amphibians. Among the unusual species that have been found at the Preserve are: Seminole bat (first record in NC), spotted salamander, Gulf Coast spiny soft-shelled turtle, and Loggerhead Shrike. McDowell Nature Preserve is also well known for its diversity of spring ephemeral wild flowers and is among the best areas in Mecklenburg County to view Pileated Woodpecker. The Preserve protects a federally endangered plant (Schweinitz's sunflower), a federal candidate species (Georgia's aster), and one rare plant (prairie dock) at its two Piedmont Prairie restoration sites. For a complete list of documented species, download our vertebrate species checklist (137kB PDF) or contact us at 704-588-5224. Accessibility: This trail does not meet enough of the guidelines that AllTrails uses to tag wheelchair and stroller friendly trails. Trail goers using mobility equipment may still be able to complete all or portions of this trail. Use your best judgement and enjoy being out on the trail!Show more
#7 - Freedom Park Pond Loop
Freedom Park
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(79)
Length: 0.8 mi • Est. 20 m
#8 - Robinson Rockhouse Trail
Reedy Creek Park
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(42)
Length: 1.8 mi • Est. 43 m
Route to the Robinson Rockhouse Trail. This is an in and out, easy to navigate trail to the rockhouse ruins. Show more
#9 - McDowell Chestnut Loop
McDowell Nature Preserve
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(49)
Length: 1.1 mi • Est. 31 m
#10 - South Main and Slalom Course
U.S. National Whitewater Center
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(47)
Length: 2.8 mi • Est. 1 h 16 m
This trail had some great downhills but also a good amount of uphill. It is listed as a black diamond. It is a series of steep downhills and burms. Show more
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