Escape the city and get into nature with these 6 hiking spots near Charlotte. All are within an hour’s drive from the city, and have family friendly options as well as more strenuous trails.
The best hikes and the best trails in Charlotte are easy to access and most are free.
Evergreen Nature Preserve
At just a few miles from Center Charlotte, the Evergreen Nature Preserve is an excellent area to either drop by for just a short hike or spend a full day. It’s only 77 acres total, so visitors have enough space to fully immerse themselves in the preserve’s forest without getting lost.
Our pick: If you’re heading there for the first time, take the Hill Trail to see a little bit of everything.
Crowders Mountain State Park
No list for hiking in Charlotte would be complete without Crowders Mountain on it. Crowders Mountain State Park has trails for hikers of all levels, from those looking for a leisurely stroll to those who want a real workout.
Our pick: Try the Lake Trail for a scenic loop around the water. To reach the park’s highest point at 1,705 feet above sea level, take the Pinnacle Trail up to the King’s Pinnacle.
Kings Mountain State Park
If you love Crowders Mountain, you’ll love Kings Mountain, located just over the border in South Carolina, just as much. After all, they do share a ridgeline.
Our pick: For an all-day trail, take the park’s 16-mile loop through the forest. For something a little quicker, take the 1.5 mile Living History Farm Trail. This trail takes visitors on an easy loop that passes a two-story farmhouse, a barn and even a smokehouse.
Reedy Creek Park and Nature Center
The Reedy Creek Park and Nature Center gives visitors hiking in Charlotte the best of both worlds. You’ll find a full park complete with playground and picnic spots, and a scenic hiking area that goes deep into Piedmont forest.
Our pick: You can start the day off by hiking onto the Umbrella Trail and making your way toward the Robinson Rockhouse Ruins, then end your journey by letting your dog loose in the Reedy Creek dog park.
Latta Plantation might be known for his horseback riding trips, but it should really be known for its hiking trails. This Charlotte-area gem is popular with locals so the area’s always well-maintained.
Our pick: The Latta Plantation Trail is a 5.4 mile loop that follows Mountain Island Lake and is accessible year-round. It’s a relatively easy hike, so you don’t have to worry about bringing the kids. Plus, it’s dog-friendly, too. Just remember to keep Spot on a leash.
U.S. National Whitewater Center
For Charlotte locals, the Whitewater Center might bring back memories of school field trips and exciting rapids, but the center actually offers much more than that. There are over 20 miles of hiking trails hidden in this Charlotte-area gem, and all trails are easily accessible from the park or the road, so you’re never too far away from people. Did we mention you can bring a bike or your canine companion along for the trip? Just remember to keep Spot on a leash.
Our pick: You can take a small hike around the lake or a full 5.7-mile trek through their forests.
Cost: Free ($6 to park)
For hiking in Charlotte, you don’t have to go far or spend. Enjoy these local gems today.