Explore the most popular River 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.

hiking
muddy
15 days ago

One of my favorite Charlotte area trails to get my long runs in. It’s flat and easy to navigate. I’m able to run 14-15 miles by taking the different offshoots. I’ve always felt safe but after a couple recent assaults on women, I’m nervous to go alone. Please stay aware of your surroundings and enjoy!

We started the “Toby Creek Greenway” Trail at the University of North Carolina, next to Target. This is a fairly new portion of the Mecklenburg County Greenway System. This trail is recorded as 2 miles in length by the County but we extended our hike into the Autumwood neighborhood. The Toby Creek Greenway has several outlets that empty into several Charlotte communities. This is a well cared for asphalt trail with boardwalks. There is a new addition to the trail starting at Rocky River Road West (see pic) that extends the trail approximately another 1/8 mile. Although the trail itself is clear you’ll get the feeling that you’re in a nature preserve, due to the overgrown foliage. We went North but you can go the other way into the UNC Campus and continue on the trail. The trail is super wide and allows room for biking, running, dog walking and other activities. The trail is maintained by Mecklenburg County government. Nice, lightly traveled urban hike in Charlotte. Come out and explore !

walking
muddy
over grown
washed out
1 month ago

The Little Sugar Creek Greenway is a popular destination for residents to walk, bike and run in Uptown Charlotte. This trail is part of the Carolina Thread Trail that extends through North and South Carolina. I started the trail on Elizabeth Avenue next to CPCC community college. This is one of my favorites as you can people watch while walking. The trail aligns Midtown, through Uptown and empties into the Myers Park neighborhood of Charlotte. After about 2.6 miles I veered left onto the Ruth Samuelson Trail. This short trail will take you past the Nature Museum, just a little further down. You can also take the bridge into Freedom Park which is a venue within itself. The trails were a little muddy under the bridges but generally clear after last nights rain. The best thing about this trail is that you can “enter” or “exit” in multiple areas. There’s a running stream the length of the trail and a man made lake inside Freedom Park. If you’re interested in exploring Charlotte’s Uptown Neighborhood, bring your camera and enter any area along the stream. Trail is fully paved and narrow in some areas, so leisure biking is a better bet. A nice route in the heart of Uptown Charlotte

Urban is an understatement.

running
1 month ago

Great place to run minus the cigarette smokers and flooding after storms.

hiking
1 month ago

We accidentally followed this trail when hiking Cove, Cedar and Chestnut because of the poor trailhead markers. It was fine though and we enjoyed this part of the hike quite a bit.

This Urban Trail is a nice leisurely stroll through Uptown Charlotte’s “Third Ward” District. I entered the Wesley Heights Connector next to Panthers Stadium on South Mint Street. This portion starts from the sidewalk, through a couple parking lots and then enters a more private part of the trail. This part of the trail borders the railroad tracks and gives you a nice view of the Wards mid century historic homes. I followed the trail to Seversville Park, then doubled back and branched off left to Frazier Park. The park has a soccer field, playground, and a decent sized dog park. I exited the the end of the Frazier trail at Sycamore and Margaret Brown. This asphalt trail is well traveled and looks to be a community favorite. Easy access to Uptown and is a part of the Carolina Thread Trail. Every few hundred yards, there’s access to your particular neighborhood which creates a great sense of connectivity. Experience this trail and get a great tour of Charlotte’s renowned Third Ward. Walk the trail around football season and you might get a peek at a few Panthers players . See ya on the trail

There are no less than 24 trails here at the US National Whitewater Center. I completed approximately 12 miles of the hiking trails, looping in and out of separate treks. I would suggest you download the map prior to heading out ... there’s over 45 miles of trail to explore. Trails aren’t marked as well as they could be, so be conscious when out exploring. Trails are “common” so you will see mountain bikers, pets, hikers and trail runners using the same trails. I always make an effort to travel towards bikers so I can quickly navigate an escape. Be courteous and just move to the right, your efforts will be appreciated. I always enjoy water views so I made it a point to explore the Lake Trail outlining the Catawba River. The trails are challenging and rated moderate to difficult and you’ll feel the burn when you’re done. This place is Adventure Wonderland, everything from mountain biking, rock climbing, zip line, kayaking and also new this year ... an ice skating rink! Love it here, definitely my favorite place to explore all four seasons. There’s a $6 entrance fee and parking is plentiful ... even on busy weekends. If you live in or near the Charlotte area and like adventure, consider their annual membership pass ... it’ll save you some cash. I paused this trail recording several times to capture some images, so the stats may be a little off. Great, Fun Day overall !!!

road biking
3 months ago

Fun scenic trail. Plenty of little hills that make for some good resistance. Quiet and peaceful.

Nice park for short walks in nature. I hiked every trail in the park and this one was the prettiest and most interesting. If you're making a trip here, keep in mind you won't find any "deep nature" here what I mean is there are a lot of trails around a mile or so long but you can almost always hear traffic from highways or be close to one of the many parking lots.

hiking
4 months ago

Beautiful fall leaves. We enjoyed Kingfisher trail to Shady Hollow trail up to the Nature Center and then Chestnut trail back to the campgrounds.

hiking
closed
muddy
4 months ago

mountain biking
closed
muddy
4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

I dont understand why they keep this trail open or it is even in the list of the trails . There are no signs, its not maintained. Its so easy to get lost and there will be no way out . They shud either have signs everywhere or just shut it down properly. I guess they will take some action only when someone gets seriously lost or hurt. . And the map also does not give you right directions .

running
4 months ago

Not sure why the only review options it gives me to choose from are bad but some long inclines and declines, best if couple with tortuga for a solid 7 miles

Good shady trail for walking / jogging / biking anytime of the day!

hiking
4 months ago

Definitely not one of my favorite trails. nothing really eye catching. everything was burnt down and didn't feel like I was in nature at all.

Excellent variety of trails, beware of bikers though! Did North and south loops, of note was the “toilet bowl” side loop in the south loop- recommend!

Decent trail for road biking, just don’t try to park at the school when the kids are getting out because the road is blocked by parents trying to pick up the kids. You could probably park in one of the neighborhoods that the trail passes. Not very steep for multi-gear bikes, majority of the greenway is relatively flat.

Visited in Sept. 2019. Parking is a reasonable $6 for all day (it’s a nonprofit org. that supports & trains our national whitewater athletes so don’t be so chintzy). $30 to rent one of their bikes or BYOB (Bring Your Own Bike) for free. Only $59 for an adult day pass for all activities (zip lines, climbing walls, rope courses, whitewater rafting, flat & whitewater kayaking & front suspension bike- full suspension bikes are an extra upgrade). Over 40 miles of hiking/ biking trails from easy to advanced. I did a few of the easy trails (Lake Loop, Jack rabbit, Carolina Thread) and two of the intermediate trails (North Main & Academy). I completed the North Main cautiously but the Academy trail was (for me) a little too steep, leaf-covered with root-filled switchbacks and drops and I had to walk my bike on several stretches. I’m fairly new to mountain biking so your results may vary. I went mid week and it wasn’t very crowded on the trails. The trails are well shaded.

hiking
5 months ago

Good, shady hike. I combined several trails to make a loop.

mountain biking
5 months ago

I tried to access the trail (bike on a rack on top of my car) but it was at the end of the elementary school’s day (around 4pm) and the road entering the park was blocked by cars lined up to pick up their kids from classes. Make sure you time it when you can get in unless you’re walking or riding your bike to it.

Very enjoyable, popular community trail. Mostly gravel or paved, and runs under 85. Plenty wide and lends itself well to walking, running, and bicycling. Not a hike, but you can do several miles in a nice environment.

For a city trail, this one was quiet and well shaded with a calm brook running along most of it. I only walked the Freedom Park area of the trail so I cannot speak to the rest of it.

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