Charlotte, NC, is one of the largest 25 cities in the United States. Fortunately, the Queen City has a lot to offer in addition to the hustle and bustle of a booming metropolis. Located in the Piedmont region, between the Appalachian mountains and the Atlantic Ocean, Charlotte boasts many great outdoor escapes. These hikes near Charlotte are definitely worth checking out.
The McDowell Nature Preserve in south Charlotte has trails that take you along Lake Wylie and others that lead you away from the water. There are miles of trails through the rolling, forested terrain of this 1,132 acre preserve. You can start out in several directions for the preserve’s interactive Nature Center. The Shady Hollow and Pine Hollow Trails connect for a 2.2 loop that is moderately challenging.
There are several trails at Latta Nature Preserve. The Hiking Project recommends the intermediate 2.6-mile Latta Park Shady Loop. Still, there are 16 miles of trail to experience on this 1,343-acre preserve.
Just across the border in Fort Mill, SC, the Anne Springs Close Greenway offers hardwood forest trails and beautiful lakes. The entire trail system is 36-miles long. The main route is the intermediate seven-mile Blue Star Trail. Depending on where you join the trail you may see historical locations like the grist mill replica.
About 40 minutes from Uptown Charlotte and found in Kings Mountain, NC, you can climb to the highest point in Gaston County at Crowders Mountain State Park. Hike King’s Pinnacle, a moderate 2 miles each way, to get to the summit.
Take a scenic stroll along the man-made Lake Norman following the moderate 6.2-mile Lake Shore Trail. This is a popular park for mountain biking as well, but this trail is for hiking only. You’ll find this park just 45 minutes from Uptown Charlotte in Troutman, NC.
The High Shoals Falls in South Mountains State Park, near Connelly Springs, NC, can be reached two ways. You can take a 2.7-mile loop trail that is generally considered moderately challenging. Or hike one mile to the 60-foot waterfall and return.
You don’t have to be heading to the mountains to find great hikes either. As you head toward South Carolina’s beaches, you might stop in Kershaw, SC, to hike in the Forty Acre Rock Heritage Preserve. The loop trail is 1.7 miles out and back and takes you around and over a massive slab of granite that was once magma flow beneath the earth’s surface.
Since we don’t know your definition of “hikes near Charlotte,” here are a few more within two hours of the city. Of course, once you get into the mountains, great hiking abounds.
Near the Virginia border, this unique waterfall is 113 miles from Charlotte (so about a two hour drive). Found in Hanging Rock Park, you’ll first hike past Hidden Falls, which is about 10 feet of falls. Keep going another quarter mile and you’ll see the more impressive Window Falls. It’s named for a rock formation that provides a small hole through which you can look down on the falls. To get more distance in, don’t miss the park’s namesake trail, which is 2.4 miles there and back again.
This easy-to-moderate two-mile roundtrip loop takes you to a 50-foot, multi-tier waterfall. You’ll venture through beautiful dense hardwood forest, past wildflowers, and over two creek crossings, on this hiking trail in Saluda. The trip to Saluda is about 93 miles from Charlotte.
Another roughly two-hour trip from Charlotte, this is one of the highest waterfalls east of the Mississippi River. Another reason to check out this 404-foot waterfall in Chimney Rock State Park? It was a filming location for The Last of the Mohicans movie. You can access the picturesque falls via a moderate 1.4-mile, round-trip loop, the Hickory Nut Falls trail. While here, you could also take the Outcroppings trail or an elevator to the top of Chimney Rock. You can see Hickory Nut Gorge and Lake Lure from atop this 535-million-year-old icon.
You can join the 20-mile Uwharrie Trail at various points in the Uwharrie National Forest. All Trails listed the 5.3-mile Badin Lake loop trail as its #1 of 25 top trails in this forest area. You’ll enjoy various views of the lake and travel through densely forested areas too.
A winner of seven Best in American Living awards, Saussy Burbank recognizes how a good hike can help you feel like you’re living your best life. That’s all we want for our homeowners. Learn more about the appeal of Saussy Burbank in our blog featuring a three-time Saussy Burbank homebuyer.