Whether you’re looking to lose weight, reduce stress, or simply get some fresh air to clear your head, hiking delivers almost immediate rewards, and luckily, you don’t have to look far for hiking options in Charlotte.
It’s no secret that the Carolinas are lush with hiking options, what with the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Great Smokies, but if you’re looking to get out and hit the trails locally, there are a ton of options to choose from, from strenuous, up-hill hikes to long-scenic, ones. Here are our Top 3!
1. Crowder’s Mountain
Perhaps the most popular of all of the hiking trails near Charlotte, Crowder’s is located on the outskirts of Gastonia, making it only a 20-minute drive outside of Uptown. Take King’s Pinnacle Trail, a 2-mile hike to the peak from the Visitor’s Center, to the summit of the mountain, and then head back down to the bottom via the Backside Trail, 336-steeply-descending staircase that leads back to the Visitor’s Center. Just check out the gorgeous view from the summit!
2. U.S. National White Water Center
The cornucopia of all outdoor activities, the White Water Center is a great resource to use for their collection of 40 different hiking trails. For only $6 to park, you can utilize all of the trails for free. The trails are of varying difficulties and are marked on the trailheads, but are available to all ages. Look out for mountain bikers though! The trails are shared between runners, hikers, and bikers alike.
3. Latta Plantation Nature Preserve
Located in Huntersville, NC, this 5.4 loop is perfect if you’re looking to put in some distance, but not necessarily a strenuous hike. Walk along Lake Norman, and enjoy your hike with the company of your human-friends, or your four-legged ones! Dogs are allowed to hike, as long as they are leashed, and horses are also known to be seen enjoying the trails with their riders!