Tuesday, December 29, 2020

McAlpine Creek Greenway: Sardis Rd. to Providence Rd.

Over the holidays, our kids each got a new riding toy, which gave us the perfect opportunity to seek out fresh, safe, paved routes for outings. 

One we recently found and enjoyed is the stretch of McAlpine Creek Greenway that runs from Sardis Rd. to Providence Rd. This is the latest segment to open on what's now a 6.2-mile (one way) greenway connecting Idlewild Rd. to Providence Rd, passing Independence Blvd., McAlpine Creek ParkJames Boyce Park, and Sardis Rd. in between. 

This new, southernmost segment of McAlpine Creek Greenway is a little over a mile, one way. It begins at a parking area off Old Bell Rd. at Sardis Rd. (there's no parking at the southern terminus). It's smooth, wide, paved and flat -- all perfect conditions for walking, jogging and, especially, riding toys. 

The greenway follows the creek through natural area running behind neighborhoods. It's a pleasant escape into nature, though the surrounding growth is fairly new and there's little shade. 

We went on a pretty Sunday afternoon and it was crowded, but not uncomfortably so. 

Whether you're looking for a traffic-free stretch to let your kids loose on wheeled toys or a nice place to take a walk, McAlpine Creek Greenway -- and the southern portion, in particular -- is a great option. 

Note: There are no bathrooms along this stretch of greenway; plan accordingly. 

How to get there: The Sardis Rd. trailhead is located at 110 Old Bell Rd., Charlotte, NC 28270. Take a left on the greenway from the parking lot to head south. 

Don't forget to pack

  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Riding toys and helmets. 
  • Hats, sunglasses and sunscreen 
  • Water and snacks 

Thursday, December 17, 2020

4 COVID-Conscious Holiday Outings

Winter break and holiday time-off is going to be different from what many of us are used to this year. But there are still fun, safe ways to enjoy the excitement of this season. 

Here are some COVID-conscious outings for the weeks ahead. Whatever adventures you embark on, wear your mask, keep your distance, and be of good cheer! Happy holidays and stay well, friends.

Uptown Lights
On one hand, it's a little eerie how quiet uptown is these days. On the other, it's actually quite a festive place to be. While you won't find some of the annual favorites, like singing bears in Founders Hall or ice skating on the NASCAR Hall of Fame Plaza, you will find some fun and dazzling holiday decorations throughout the heart of town.

We took an informal walking tour the other evening and found lots to look at and enjoy. Some of our favorites included the lighted animations around the perimeter of First Ward Park, the great big tree and hanging lights at The Square (the corner of Trade St. and Tryon St.), the giant ornaments at the Levine Center for the Arts, and the colorful tree at the NASCAR Hall of Fame Plaza (400 E. MLK Jr. Blvd.). 

Just as exciting as spotting the large outdoor ornamentation was peering through the windows at building lobbies and shop fronts. If you go, make sure to take a peak at the "book tree" just inside the entrance of Imaginon. So fun!

McAdenville Magic on Foot

It's been an annual tradition since I was a kid for our family to visit the spectacular whole-town light display at Christmastown, USA. These days, we like to experience the magic of McAdenville on foot. Check out this post for details on how to do this.

New this year, wear your mask! Yes, even outside. There are spots where foot traffic can get a little congested if you're there at a busy time.

Also, if you've been before, you may recall the beauty of the lighted trees reflecting in the lake at the center of town. They decided not to decorate this area and other public gathering spots to prevent crowding. Bummer, but absolutely the right call. Don't worry, there are still plenty of lights to go around.

When you're there, consider taking the side streets. While vehicular traffic is relegated to a set route through the main street, pedestrians are allowed to wander. I encourage you to do so. Some of the houses "off the beaten path" are breathtaking. (Look for the yard with a million blow-up penguins.)

Finally, I recommend going early (lights switch on at 5:30 p.m.) on a weekday, if you can. Lights go out at 10, but get your visit in before then to adhere to curfew. The display runs through December 26. 

Ice Skating at the U.S. National Whitewater Center
Last year, the USNWC debuted a skating rink, and we plan to make it an annual tradition as long as it's part of the winter activity line-up. Read this post about what to expect if you go -- and it's definitely worth considering!

Some things to note this year:

Due to the pandemic, there's limited capacity and everyone is required to sign up for an assigned time slot, which can be secured in advance online or by phone, or onsite when you arrive (call guest services at 704-391-3900 for more information).

To avoid crowds, I suggest that you go during the day on weekdays, if you can. We went at 2:00 p.m. on a Wednesday and found the crowd sizes to be comfortable. On the ice, masks are encouraged, but not required. Most, but not all, of the people we skated among were wearing them.

Check the website for hours for both skating and the adjacent lights display. Ice skating runs through mid-February. 

Star Gazing
Maybe you've heard about the "Christmas Star" shining down on Earth this week? This rare and fascinating alignment of Jupiter and Saturn is visible now and will be at it's brightest on December 21. It has been 400 years since the planets passed each other so closely, and nearly 800 years since it happened at night. You can read more about this "great conjunction" on the NASA website

We're considering a short trip to a place where the view will be unencumbered by light pollution. We'll be using the free SkyView Lite app, which I highly recommend, to figure out what we're looking for and where. 

I think it will be a fun, memorable excursion. Wouldn't it be neat if we all share this moment together, apart?

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Pump Track at Colonel Frances Beatty Park

Colonel Frances Beatty Park was already one of our favorite places to ride mountain bikes. There, you'll find beautiful trails for all ages and skill levels. But we only just recently discovered they also have a 0.1-mile natural surface pump track, which has become another big draw for us. 

A pump track is a cross between an obstacle course and a roller coaster for bikes. They are called pump tracks because really skilled riders can "pump" their way around the course using momentum without peddling. But, they are every bit as much fun for even the most tentative riders among us. 

We visited one weekday afternoon not long ago and had the area to ourselves. I imagine it could get more crowded on a pretty weekend day. But even still, the space is large enough to comfortably accommodate a small crowd (remember to ride in the designated direction!). 

We always enjoy a trip to the pump track at George Poston Park, which is paved. I like the one at Colonel Frances Beatty because it's on the dirt in the woods and somewhat less technical. And, we can take a spin on the other trails, visit the pond or play on the playground (here's a park map) if we get tired of riding in circles. 

Colonel Frances Beatty Park is huge and has lots of amenities. You'll find the pump track next to the tennis court parking lot. Whether you're a biker or not, this park is a fun place to spend some time playing outdoors. And the pump track is an especially exciting feature for folks who like to ride. 

How to get there

Colonel Frances Beatty Park is located at 4330 Weddington Rd, Matthews, NC 28105. The pump track is located next to the tennis court parking lot. 

Don't forget to pack: 

  • Bikes and a helmet 
  • Comfortable walking shoes 
  • Water and snacks
  • Hats, sunglasses and sunscreen 

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Southview District Park

I love discovering green space close to town. It feels especially valuable to be able to escape to nature without much of a commute. Such is the case with Southview District Park, a large, beautiful swath of forested land tucked magically off West Blvd. just 10 minutes from the heart of Uptown. 

This Mecklenburg County park is home to a large recreation center with lots of amenities, but the big draw for us is the trail system. The park offers about three miles of natural-surface routes, maintained by Tarheel Trailblazers, good for both biking and hiking. 

The trails are relatively flat and easy with very few technical challenges. The main loop, which begins and ends at a trailhead at the end of the parking lot to the left of the recreation center, is almost exactly two miles. You can add another half-mile by tacking on the Tamale Loop, or another 1.25 miles by taking the Stillwater Loop. Both are just off the main loop. 

The trails are well marked and offer helpful directional signs for bikers (counter clockwise) and hikers (clockwise). "Real" mountain bikers will appreciate the added features, including some berms and skinny bridges, but this trail is good for riders of all levels. 

We went on a cool day, but could appreciate the relief the shade would provide in warmer months. We also noticed just how peaceful and quiet the park was, despite its proximity to some pretty popular thoroughfares. It was also a nice option for distancing; we were the only ones there on a Sunday afternoon. 

I don't know how it took us this long to discover Southview, as pleasant and convenient as it is, but now that we have, it will most certainly be on our regular rotation of nearby destinations for quick afternoon or weekend outings. I recommend you check it out, too, if you haven't already.

How to get there:
Southview District Park is located at 1720 Vilma St., Charlotte NC 28208. The trailhead is at the far end of the parking lot to the left of the recreation center. 

Don't forget to pack
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Bikes and helmets
  • Water and snacks 

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Hey, That’s Neat!

I follow a lot of local media and municipal organizations and I often come across things that are so cool I feel like everyone should know about them. Here are a few recent discoveries I hope you'll enjoy. Check them out and tell your friends. Some things just need to be shared! 

Fun to know!

Looking for something different – and safe – to do over the long holiday weekend? Why not check out a cool new interactive art installation? Charlotte Listens, created and developed by Sara Kate Baudhuin at the Charlotte Art League, is a creative answer to the realities of COVID-19 isolation. It’s a storytelling “payphone,” but, instead of a phone, you’ll find a panel with a QR code that, when scanned, gives you a phone number to listen to one of five different short stories recorded by previous participants. After you listen, you’re invited to share a story of your own with the help of prompts. (Note: The Charlotte Art League screens the recordings, so there’s no risk of encountering anything inappropriate.) As stories are added, the menu of options changes and expands.

We visited the other day and found this to be a clever, fun, family-friendly activity. It’s a compelling, contactless and engaging outing that can help us all feel a little more connected to our community while we remain physically apart.

This is a mobile installation. Follow @charlotte.listens on Instagram to find its current location. At the time of this post, the booth was located at Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams in South End. While it's there, consider pairing your visit with a bike ride or walk on the Rail Trail and a frozen treat!

Good to know!

I recently read an article in CharlotteFive about “essential distancing” and the popularity trends for visiting places like grocery stores, coffee shops and parks in Charlotte under COVID-19. The reporter gleaned this data from Google’s Community Mobility Report a resource I find fascinating. This report shows movement trends by region across categories of places we visit in our day-to-day lives. With an unbelievably vast database, Google is able to compare mobility trends worldwide, but the real value for local citizens is being able to modify their personal outings to account for crowds and, hopefully, mitigate the spread of coronavirus.

This database is easy to use. Enter a region (down to the state level) and download the most recent report. Of particular interest to me are stats on parks and recreation. 

Other fun tools the article mentioned are Google Maps’ popular times and live busyness feature, which offers real-time insight into how crowded a place might be before you go, and the live view, which helps orient users en route to an unfamiliar destination. Both seem genius at any time, but particularly in the age of COVID-19. 

Did you know?

You probably know that paper yard waste bags are way better for the environment than plastic. But did you know that Mecklenburg County gives compostable paper bags away for free? These are available at all Mecklenburg County Drop Centers (Mondays through Saturdays, 7 a.m. – 4 p.m.) and other locations like the City of Charlotte Solid Waste Office (located at 1200 Ottis Street, first-come/first-served every Friday from 12 p.m. – 3 p.m.). You can get up to 10 bags per visit. Pretty cool, huh?

Got any other fun local tips, suggestions or resources? Message me! I’d love to check them out and spread the word.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Steven's Creek Nature Preserve

There's a new nature preserve in town and I'm a big fan. Steven's Creek Nature Preserve, located in Mint Hill, NC, about 30 minutes east of uptown, is home to a new, state-of-the-art Nature Center (currently closed due to COVID-19) and some really beautiful trails. 

The Nature Center wasn't open when we visited, but we thoroughly enjoyed a fun hike through the surrounding woods. There are several easy, natural-surface loop options, all of which leave from a paved trail just off the main parking lot.

The kids and I did this 3.7-mile hike with the dog (pets are welcome -- on leash, please!), and everyone was happy with the outing.

The preserve trails are shady, mostly flat, not too technical, and well marked with spray-paint blazes (orange squares, yellow triangles and blue circles) on trees.

Some considerations to note:
  • Don't go after rain. There are several low-lying areas that are prone to swampy flooding and your feet will get soaked. I understand plans are in the works for a boardwalk or footbridge over one particularly squishy area near the beginning of the trail.
  • Look for wildlife! During our visit, we spotted a pack of deer and a heron.
  • Though it's currently closed to the general public due to the pandemic, the Nature Center offers small group programs. You can check those out here.
We find nature preserves to be such a gift for so many reasons and visit them frequently. It's a treat to be able to add a new one to our rotation. I highly recommend you check out Steven's Creek. It's another great local outdoor destination.

How to get there: Steven's Creek Nature Center and Preserve are located at 15700 Thompson Rd., Mint Hill, North Carolina 28227. 

Don't forget to pack
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Water and snacks
  • Hats, sunglasses and sunscreen
  • Bug spray 

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Gearing Up

There's no denying that packing and preparation for an outing is work, no matter how many times you've done it. And, quite frankly, no matter how long or far you're going. I suspect that just the the thought of figuring out what to take and making sure everything is covered has ended some folks' adventures before they even begin.

If the packing part of heading out has been a barrier to entry for you, maybe this day-trip starter list will help. Here's what we generally pack for most of our local outings.

Day pack
: A good backpack can make your life a lot easier. We have a number of bags that we choose from, depending on what the adventure calls for. For longer hikes, we love our LL Bean backpack. But for shorter day-outings (whether we're hitting the trails, taking a bike ride, or walking to a nearby store), my go-to is a simple Ozark Trail bag I found at WalMart. This no-fuss nylon pack is light and just roomy enough for a few hours' worth of "gear." The model we have has just one side pocket, perfect for a phone, keys and dog bags.

Water bottles
: Always pack water. Even on cool days. I find that hydration can be key not just to health and wellbeing, but staving off grumpiness. Don't let yourself get thirsty. And, please, for the love of the planet, use reusable containers. 

Our favorite water bottles are simple, screw-top Nalgene bottles. The kids each have their own color 12-ounce mini loop-top and the grown-ups use either the 32-ounce wide mouth or 30-ounce screw top. I cannot be bothered with maintenance and cleaning of straws, valves or complicated tops. Simple suits us best.

Snacks: Your type of snack is a personal preference, of course, but consider things that are light, easy to eat, and produce minimal waste. I will admit we usually throw a treat of some sort in our bag (fruit snacks are our go-to) for those times that call for a little extra motivation or celebration along the journey.

Necessary accessories
: In our pack, we always carry a few staples. Consider assembling a small bag with the following:
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug spray
  • First aid materials (bandaids, at the least)
  • Wet wipes
  • Bug bite relief (After Bite is a magical product)
  • A small pocket knife
  • Masks (even out on the trails, it's good to be prepared for large-group encounters)
Hiking sticks: Completely optional, of course. And we often find our own along the trail. But there are lots of inexpensive options on the market if you're inclined to get your own. The trail poles we have are light and extendable -- good for all ages and heights. We bought a couple pairs for about $20 each on Amazon and often just use one each. Consider something that can be stashed in your pack if someone tires of using their pole.

Other things we consider when we prepare for an outing are outfits, shoes and hats. Each adventure calls for its own wardrobe. Dress in layers. Wear supportive footwear and think about whether your trek requires water shoes, hiking boots, or something in between. And protect your head. We love our wide-brimmed sunhats that shade both our faces and necks.

Of course, if you're bringing your dog, don't forget plenty of water (we recently discovered this amazing invention), leash and some doggy bags.

If you're in the market for any outdoor gear, I highly recommend Gear Goat Exchange, an outdoor gear consignment shop located on Central Ave. close to uptown. They've got good deals on great equipment and some really friendly folks to help you find what you're looking for. (Helpful tip: If they don't have what you need, they'll take your number and give you a call when it comes in.)

If packing and prep still feels like a lot of work, I understand. But I can also tell you that we've found that the more we do it, the easier it gets. Of course I still keep lots of lists handy, but it no longer feels overwhelming to throw together what we'll need for a trip. I think you'll find that to be the case, too.

Thursday, October 29, 2020

North Carolina Transportation Museum

I don't know why it took us so long to visit the North Carolina Transportation Museum. I've heard good things for years and it's not that far away. The other day, we made a point to visit and the experience did not disappoint.

Located in Spencer, NC, a little over 45 minutes north of uptown Charlotte, the North Carolina Transportation Museum is situated on the site of what was once the Southern Railway's largest steam locomotive repair facility in the southeast. There, you'll find an impressive collection historic buildings and railroad, automotive and aviation relics.

When we went, the museum was still somewhat closed due to COVID-19 restrictions. Since then, the indoor exhibits have opened. Either way, I can highly recommend the Transportation Tour, an outdoor walking tour of the museum's 60-acre grounds. This approximately 1-mile loop takes visitors by all of the outdoor historic structures, including an authentic train station built in 1898, the largest remaining roundhouse in North America, a locomotive repair shop and other fun artifacts.

The museum also occasionally offers train rides, like the hugely popular Polar Express during the holidays, and other events. Check the website for upcoming events. Also worth noting, there are restroom facilities available whether you do an indoor or outdoor-only tour.

This was a fun, captivating, active, educational outing. On a pretty day, it's a fun way to spend a couple hours outside discovering new things (that are really quite old!). If you've been meaning to visit, go ahead and make a special trip. You'll be glad you did.

How to get there:
The North Carolina Transportation Museum is located at 1 Samuel Spencer Dr, Spencer, NC 28159.

Don't forget to pack:
  • Hats, sunglasses and sunscreen: There's hardly any shade on the museum grounds.
  • Water and snacks: Be prepared; you might stay longer than you planned.
  • Comfortable walking shoes: Sneakers will do.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Charlotte Dog Parks

I didn’t know I was a dog person until we got Pedee. We never had dogs growing up, and I dragged my feet pretty intentionally long after our daughter, who was somehow born loving dogs, started asking for one.

But when the rescue foster family dropped our sweet pup off for a trial-run visit last fall, he quickly won our hearts and I discovered the joys of his energy, enthusiasm, loyalty, companionship and love.

Pedee is the perfect dog for our family. Of course, there was a period of time when he was younger that he couldn't ride in the car for more than 10 minutes without getting sick (how were we to take him on all of our adventures when he couldn't make it across town?!), but his belly settled and now he knows that when we invite him to hop in the van, we're going to end up somewhere fun.

He's a great trail dog, bounding between whoever's leading the pack and whoever's bringing up the rear. He loves exploring, but he loves his people and never ventures too far from us.

For all the exploring we do, we only just recently discovered the delights of public dog parks. We're late to the game, but we realize now how great they are, and there are a number of them around town. Free of charge, these parks offer plenty of contained space for dogs to run and play off-leash. Open from 7:30 a.m. until sunset daily, these amenities are well-maintained by Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation

The best part for us is watching Pedee make friends and play with his four-legged buddies. Of course, the wonderful thing is that, since users are there for the same reasons and must meet all guidelines and maintain current vaccinations, we can be comfortable in letting him romp.

A list of municipal dog parks, locations and descriptions can be found on the Park and Rec website. They include:

Our favorite these days is the park at McAlpine Creek. It offers a large, wide-open field for fetch connected to a tree-filled, shady area for a water break and play. There are enclosed areas for both large dogs over 20 pounds and smaller dogs that weigh less. There are also benches and covered picnic tables. And plenty of friendly fellow dog-lovers.

As much fun as we all have covering new terrain, it is a delight for everyone in our family, Pedee most especially, to enjoy canine social time. I didn't get it before, but I'm most decidedly a dog person now, and grateful to be one.

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Boone's Cave Park

There's a 140-cave in Davidson Co. where American pioneer Daniel Boone and his family were rumored to have spent their first winter after moving to the area from Pennsylvania in 1751. How cool is that? 

Boone's Cave Park, located in Lexington, NC, just under an hour north of uptown Charlotte, is home to this storied cave and a number of other fun features, including biking and hiking trails, a disc golf course, picnic shelters, fishing and primitive camp sites.

First, a little more about the park's historical significance. It's said that in the mid-1800s, Squire Boone, Daniel's dad, headed south with his family to the Yadkin Valley of North Carolina and settled for their first year in this fertile, river-side site. Daniel was 16 at the time. It should be noted that, while it's not been confirmed that the family in fact lived in the cave, it has been documented that Daniel roamed the area during his time in North Carolina.

If you visit, you'll find the cave on the banks of the river, just down a few sets of boardwalk stairs where Boone's Cave Rd. ends inside the park. There is parking here or in a lot a few hundred yards closer to the entrance next to a bathroom facility.

When we visited, we parked in the center parking lot (next to the restrooms) and set out to explore from there. One important note: During our visit, the mosquitoes were especially problematic. It seems this low-lying area offers a perfect breeding ground, so keep this in mind and consider making this a cooler-weather trip.

The park offers more than 7 miles of trails (see the park map at the bottom of this brochure), many of which are said to resemble what Daniel Boone and other backcountry settlers would have experienced when they roamed the area hundreds of years ago. 

The park is open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. from May 1 to September 18, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. from September 19 to October 31, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. from November 1 to April 30. You'll want to note that the park is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Years Day.

We found Boone's Cave Park to be a fun place to explore. Between the novelty of its historical significance and the abundance of recreational activity options, this makes for a fun, dynamic, family-friendly destination. We'll be back -- when the mosquitoes aren't so bad!

How to get there:
Boone's Cave Park is located at 3552 Boones Cave Rd, Lexington, NC 27295. You'll find parking just inside the park and at the end of Boone's Cave Rd. There are restroom facilities here.

Don't forget to pack:
  • Comfortable walking shoes: Sneakers will do. Note that it's likely to be muddy after rain.
  • Bug spray: Especially during warmer months.
  • Water and snacks: Pack enough to stay a while.
  • Hats, sunglasses and sunscreen: The park is mostly shaded, but not entirely.

Thursday, October 1, 2020


Do good, get moving, and have some fun. Those are the reasons our family will be participating in Sustain Charlotte's Biketoberfest during the weekend of October 24-25.

We came to know Sustain Charlotte, a local nonprofit that advocates for smart growth and sustainability, when we participated in one of their events a couple of years ago. Sustain Charlotte is high on our list of charitable organizations because of the work they do to support a healthy, equitable and vibrant community. This isn't just about more trees and fewer cars. Sustain Charlotte advocates for diverse housing and transportation options, works to protect the environment, actively supports the local economy, and engages the community. You can learn more about their efforts here

This year's Biketoberfest, one of Sustain Charlotte's signature events, will be necessarily different from years past. Whereas before there were large gatherings at the start and finish and mingling during the ride, this year will feature multiple routes for a choose-your-own-adventure-themed event with a scavenger hunt and chances to win prizes over the course of the weekend. Of course, the primary goal remains to raise funds to support Sustain Charlotte's efforts to inform, engage, and empower residents to address the numerous sustainability challenges that have accompanied our rapid population growth.

The event routes are organized by level of difficulty: family friendly, medium, and expert. (You can see routes here.) We'll probably do the one closest to our house so that we can jump on our bikes straightaway, rather than commute.

Registration is $35 and includes an event t-shirt. Kids 18 and under participate for free.

If you're not up for this year's ride, but Sustain Charlotte's work aligns with your values, too, you can support participants by making a donation. (Here's our family's page if you want a place to start!).

I'm looking forward to a day two-wheeling around our beautiful city with the kids, knowing that our fun outing is also doing meaningful good for the greater community. Join us? 

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Clarks Creek Community Park

I'm so glad that playgrounds are open again. I missed them. I missed what they represent. It's such a gift to be able to take kids to a safe, open play space where they can move their muscles, meet and make friends and enjoy fresh air and creative, screen-free fun. (I also enjoy the chance to run into and chat with grown-up friends, too). 

Long before the pandemic shut everything down, we discovered Clarks Creek Community Park and loved it. Located just under 20 minutes north of uptown, this park is exciting for a number of reasons. 

We actually stumbled on it when we visited Clarks Creek Nature Preserve (another fun discovery!), which is right across the street, for the first time. I would recommend hitting both destinations if you take a trip.

Here's what you'll find at Clarks Creek Community Park:

Trails: There are both natural-surface walking trails and paved paths good for scooters and strollers.

Courts: This park is home to a large complex of both pickleball and basketball courts.

Dog parks: There are large, spacious, fenced dog parks for both large and small breeds.

Playground: Probably our favorite equipment is the in-ground slides built into the wall bordering the playground space. There's also a climbing web, swing sets and a see-saw.

Sprayground: Open during summer months (in non-pandemic times), this new, sprawling water play area could keep littles content for hours.

You'll also find restroom facilities, an outdoor picnic shelter and a large community garden. Here's a park map

We haven't been back to Clarks Creek Community Park since pandemic restrictions have been lifted, but it remains high on our list for the next time we get a chance.

How to get there:
Clarks Creek Community Park is located at 5435 Hucks Rd, Charlotte, NC 28269.

Don't forget to pack:
  • Comfortable shoes: Sneakers will do
  • Hats, sunglasses and sunscreen: The park is not heavily shaded
  • Snacks and water: You can refill water at the restroom facilities
  • Toys: Pickleball equipment, basketball or rolling riding toys
  • Swim stuff: If you're visiting when the sprayground is operational