Living in Charlotte, North Carolina has provided me with numerous outdoor adventures. There are many things to do outdoors here such as going to the beach or taking a picnic. A personal favorite of mine is taking a day trip to go on a hike. If you’re willing to drive a little bit, you’ll find that there are plenty of different hiking trails with ranging difficulties in the Charlotte area. Not sure where to start? Here are a few of my favorites.
South Mountains State Park
The High Shoals Falls Loop located in South Mountains State Park is a short and easy hike that takes you to the High Shoals Waterfall. Although it’s only a mile from the parking lot, it’s not as straightforward as you might think. The trail goes through a series of steep steps before reaching the waterfall. Families with kids may prefer the more approachable portion of the trail.
Lake Norman State Park
The Lake Norman area is the main focus of this park, which was formed in 1962. It was created by Duke Energy (then known as Duke Power Company) as part of a hydroelectric project that began in 1959. The project involved building a dam across the Catawba River.
Take a walk around the lake’s beautiful shoreline by following the white blazes trail. This moderate hike is ideal for people who are looking to get away from it all and enjoy the lake’s natural beauty. Another trail that’s ideal for kids and families is the Dragonfly Trail, which is a .15-mile walk.
Along the way, various nature displays teach visitors about the animals and plants that live in the lake.
Hanging Rock State Park
The beautiful scenery and waterfalls that can be found at Hanging Rock State Park are just a short drive away from the Virginia state line, directly north of Charlotte. One of the park’s most popular hiking trails is the Indian Creek Trail, which leads to the beautiful Window Falls. This is a strenuous hike, but the views you’ll see are worth the time it takes to get to the top of this area.
One of the most popular waterfalls in the Pisgah National Forest is Linville Falls. If you’re looking for a great view of this natural feature, take a look at the Strenuous Linville Gorge Trail or the Erwins View Trail. With 39 miles of hiking trails to explore, you’ll be hard-pressed to see everything in a single visit, meaning you’ll have plenty of reason to visit again.