Hiking is a great way to get a bit of exercise, relax, and explore a new area. Plus, if you’re lucky, you might spot wildlife or even make some new friends.
You don’t have to be an expert outdoorsman to hit the trails either — there are plenty of routes to choose from, whether you’re looking for something challenging or easy. To find one that’s right for you, take a look at a few of the best hikes near Charlotte.
Latta Nature Preserve
The Latta Nature Preserve is only 20 minutes outside of Charlotte and offers a ton of awesome hiking trails for visitors. One of the most frequented routes is the Latta Nature Preserve Trail, a 5-mile loop that features a beautiful lake, river, wildflowers, and lots of amazing greenery.
Visitors are lucky enough to be able to enjoy this trail year-round, whether they’re hiking, running, bird watching, or horseback riding. Dogs are also welcome! To make things even better, people can enjoy the trails in this area free of charge.
Reedy Creek Nature Preserve Trail
The Reedy Creek Nature Preserve Trail is a 3.1-mile loop that’s considered easy. This family-friendly route is just 30 minutes outside of Charlotte and it’s a perfect spot to spend the day hiking, birding, or both if you’re up for it.
On this hike, visitors will get to travel along the creek and see wildflowers as well as other exciting plant life. There are also a few interesting rock formations to check out during the journey. If one hike isn’t enough, the area has many other great trails too.
Colonel Francis Beatty Park Loop
To enjoy a fantastic 4.3-mile loop, head to Colonel Francis Beatty Park. This spot is located about 40 minutes outside of Charlotte, so be sure to check the trail conditions before making any plans! Visitors can participate in a variety of activities here, such as hiking, running, bird watching, mountain biking, and more.
The loop provides a nice mix of sunshine and shade, making it a comfortable and relaxing experience. Always keep an eye out for wildlife — you might see a beaver or two!
The 45-minute trip to Crowders Mountain State Park is totally worth it. Pinnacle Trail is one of the more popular destinations in the park, so it’s important to plan ahead and arrive early if possible. For typical day use, visitors can get into the park for free.
Pinnacle Trail leads hikers up the mountain and through a forest, all the way up to an incredible and sweeping view of the rest of the park. This route is just 4.2 miles out and back, but it can be challenging depending on your skill level.
Lake Norman Lakeshore Trail
Lake Norman State Park is another spot that has a lot of awesome hiking trails. The Lakeshore Trail is around 45 minutes outside of Charlotte and is one of the best in the park. This 6.1-mile loop is full of thriving plant life and sparkling waterfront views. Many visitors come to the area to hike, run, bird watch, and hang out with their pups area year-round.