Thursday, July 11, 2019

Four Mile Creek Has Something For Everyone

The Matthews Four Mile Creek Greenway, part of the Carolina Thread Trail, is a fantastic example of what a community asset greenways can be. Constructed in 2011 through a partnership between Mecklenburg County and the town of Matthews, the 2-mile (one way), paved trail threads its way along the creek between and through neighborhoods, connecting Matthews Elementary School to East John St., with  Squirrel Lake Park in between. It offers a number of access points beyond the trailheads, making it a convenient destination for folks all over town eager to get some fresh air and exercise.

Taking a walk along the quiet, peaceful greenway is like attending a linear neighborhood get-together. And right smack in the middle is Squirrel Lake Park, an excellent place to park if you're not within walking distance, and a guaranteed hit for the kids.

On our visit, we parked at Squirrel Lake Park, which offers playground equipment, bathrooms, a picnic shelter, benches, a twelve-hole disc golf, two permanent corn hole sets and a lake with a fishing pier. There's a short, natural surface trail that circles the lake if you want to do a little exploring without taking to the greenway.

From the park, you can access the paved greenway -- great for bikes, strollers and hiking -- at about the mid-point of the trail. Taking a left will steer you a little over a mile toward Matthews Elementary School. Taking a right will lead you to East John St., just under a mile away.

We took a left toward Matthews Elementary and were rewarded with a trip over several bridges and by a mini-park with a fountain rock feature. No matter which way you go, the greenway is full of wildlife, including birds, beavers and deer.

I found the Matthews Four Mile Creek Greenway to be a pleasant, peaceful natural getaway without much of a commute. Worth a visit if you're in the area.

How to get there:
Squirrel Lake Park is located at 1631 Pleasant Plains Rd., Matthews, NC, 28105. Park here to access both the playground and the greenway. Here's a greenway map.

Don't forget to pack:
  • Water and snacks: There's an impressive picnic shelter, so consider packing a lunch.
  • Comfortable shoes: You can hike the paved greenway or opt for the shorter, natural surface trail that encircles the small lake.
  • Bikes, scooters and helmets: The paved greenway is perfect for feet or wheels.
  • Hats, sunglasses and sunscreen: The park and greenway are only partially shaded.

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful trail, but quick note to all. We accessed the trail from one of the neighborhood entrances and parked our van on a public road in the neighborhood. Upon arriving back at our van, one of the home owners was NOT happy that we parked there, and made her discontent very known.