Friday, April 24, 2020

Toby Creek Greenway

I love greenways. Especially these days. Wide open spaces. Long, paved trails. Plenty of room for walking the dog, running the kids, and burning off some crazy. Given that exercise at a safe social distance is permitted under stay-at-home orders, we’ve found greenways to be the perfect place for daily fresh air intermissions.

Recently, we discovered Toby Creek Greenway and loved it.

Located about 20 minutes north of Uptown, this 1.6-mile (one way) stretch is part of the 9-mile Mallard Creek Greenway system. (It is also part of the Carolina Thread Trail and the XCLT, or Cross Charlotte Trail.)

Toby Creek Greenway runs under beautiful, green wooded areas and through the heart of the sports fields and athletic facilities section of the UNC Charlotte campus.

There is plenty of parking at the trailhead, which is located at Kirk Farm Fields. You won't find restroom facilities there, but there are a couple of porta-potties. (Note: If this parking lot is closed due to stay-at-home restrictions, consider parking on the UNCC campus. The greenway runs along the western side of campus between athletic fields near Lot 14. From here, take a right to head to the northern greenway terminus at Kirk Farm Fields, or a left to head south.)

From the Kirk Farm Fields parking lot, take the paved trail to the right of the bridge. In about a quarter mile, take a left to hop on the main greenway (going straight will take you to North Tryon St.).

The greenway borders the creek and travels under several bridges, including the new Lynx light rail track. Near campus, about a mile from the trailhead, it passes a well appointed calisthenics park, then an alumni pavilion, where you'll find restrooms and a water fountain.

Smooth, flat and 10-feet wide, this trail is great for bikes, scooters, skateboards, and strollers. But no matter how you choose to enjoy it, it’s a perfect option for a housebound interlude.

How to get there:
The Toby Creek Greenway trailhead is adjacent to the parking lot at Kirk Field Farms located at 210 East Mallard Creek Church Rd., Charlotte, NC 28262. If this parking lot is closed, consider parking on the UNCC campus. The greenway runs along the western side of campus between athletic fields near Lot 14.

Don't forget to take:
  • Comfortable walking shoes: The entire trail is paved.
  • Bikes, scooters or other riding toys: Don’t forget your helmet!
  • Water: You can refill at the alumni pavilion.
  • Snacks: There are plenty of spots for a picnic break.
  • Hats, sunglasses and sunscreen: The trail is partially shaded, but open in spaces.

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