Best river trails in Charlotte, North Carolina

2,076 Reviews
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.
Map of river trails in Charlotte, North Carolina
Top trails (21)
#1 - 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
#2 - Mallard Creek Greenway
Charlotte, North Carolina
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(171)
Length: 9.2 mi • Est. 3 h 43 m
#3 - Little Sugar Creek Greenway
Charlotte, North Carolina
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(134)
Length: 4.9 mi • Est. 2 h 3 m
#4 - Clarks Creek Greenway
Charlotte, North Carolina
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(162)
Length: 5.4 mi • Est. 2 h 12 m
Great trail to walk along the creek and listen to the calming sounds emitted from small waterfalls. During certain times of the year, areas of the pavement are covered in mud from flood residue. Nice bike paths with several bridges. You can go into the creek and might see crawfish and salamanders. The whole trail is mostly shaded and the drawn route is nicely paved. If you continue into University Research Park, the trail turns into packed gravel. Accessibility: There are 4 designated handicapped-accessible spaces in the paved parking lot at Mallard Creek Elementary. All of them are van-accessible with striped access aisles. The trail surface is paved, smooth, and typically at least 8 feet wide. The estimated grade is mostly gentle (all 5% or less) except for steep section (8-12%) at 0.1 miles going downhill when going west/uphill at 5.3 miles going east and 2.6 miles going downhill when going north/uphill at 4.1 miles going south. The steep sections have been marked with waypoints. Wheelchair/mobility equipment or stroller users may need assistance or to avoid these sections. There are benches along the trail for resting. Show more
#5 - Little Sugar Creek Greenway
Huntington Farms Park
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(171)
Length: 5.1 mi • Est. 2 h 3 m
This is a nice paved greenway trail in South Charlotte near the South Park Mall. There’s also a dirt mountain biking trail through the wooded area. Accessibility: In the paved parking lot off of Tyvola Road, there are designated handicapped-accessible parking spaces and two striped access aisles. The main trail surface is paved and typically at least six feet wide. The estimated grade is moderately steep (all 8% or less) except for very steep sections at 0.2, 0.5, and 1.4 miles when going south. These have been marked with waypoints and wheelchair/mobility equipment/stroller users may need assistance there.Show more
#6 - McMullen Creek Greenway
Charlotte, North Carolina
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray Star(220)
Length: 3.4 mi • Est. 1 h 23 m
This is a nice urban walk/hike that is perfect for stopping by in the afternoon after work or taking the kids on a Sunday afternoon. The trail is pit gravel for the first 3/4 mile and the remainder is either asphalt or elevated wood decking for over 3 more miles. You'll be sharing the trail with hikers, joggers, walkers and bikers but the wide path allows you plenty of room. There is a small picnic area at the trailhead and benches are plentiful along the trail as well as mileage markers. There are several places to detour down to the creek and I've seen numerous birds and butterflies along the way. Accessibility: It is unclear if there are any designated handicapped-accessible spaces in the paved parking lot off of Pineville-Matthews Road, west of Johnston Road, at the north end of the trail. The trail surface is gravel or paved (wooden boardwalk, cement, and asphalt), and typically at least 6 feet wide. The estimated grade is gentle (3% or less) except for 3 short moderately steep (5 to 8% grade) sections at about the 0.1, 0.9, and 1.4 mile marks when heading south.Show more
#7 - Little Sugar Creek Greenway: Huntingtowne Farms Park to Rt. 485
Little Sugar Creek Greenway
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(228)
Length: 5.0 mi • Est. 2 h 1 m
The trail is part of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Greenways System. It is a flat paved trail alongside Little Sugar Creek, perfect for walking, running, or biking. Parking is available in 3 spots - at Huntingtowne Farms Park, off Sharon Road, or at the Carolina Pavilion Shopping Center on South Boulevard.Show more
#8 - Renaissance Park Trail 1 and 2
Renaissance Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray Star(114)
Length: 4.3 mi • Est. 1 h 44 m
#9 - 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
#10 - North Main Trail
U.S. National Whitewater Center
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(105)
Length: 2.1 mi • Est. 57 m
This trail is rated as a blue square meaning more difficult. It starts with a huge drop in from the Figure 8 black diamond trail. Make sure to stay left after the drop in to stay on North Main. This trail has plenty of downhill so you can get some great speed. It is quite rooty so watch your pedals and calculate for the uphills.Show more
Showing results 1 - 10 of 21