Tuesday, July 28, 2020

McDowell Creek Greenway

Another day, another greenway. It's looking like we might make it to all the county greenways over the duration of the pandemic. Because, as long as we're practicing responsible social distancing, they provide such a nice option for getting wiggles out and enjoying some fresh air.

Recently, we visited McDowell Creek Greenway, about 20 minutes north of uptown. Located in the Birkdale Village area, the paved 1.5-mile trail connects the towns of Huntersville and Cornelius. Part of the Carolina Thread Trail and the Lake Norman Bike Route, this is a great option for walking, biking, scooters, skates and strollers. 

Though it is sandwiched between I-77 and several suburban developments, McDowell Creek Greenway offers a pleasant dose of nature and wildlife. It also borders Westmoreland Athletic Complex, which has bathrooms, a playground (both currently closed), ball fields and picnic areas. (See trail map.

While there are a number of neighborhood entrances, the main trailhead is located next to the Birkdale Regal parking lot, which provides plenty of spaces for parking these days.

From the trailhead, take a left to go under a pedestrian overpass and follow the greenway past a pond, over a bridge, and through nicely protected green space. Along the route, you'll find an abundance of plants (including a number of species milkweed), animals (keep an eye out for a variety of birds and listen for the calls of a few different types of frogs), and insects (at times, this is home to around a dozen species of butterflies).

This trail is relatively flat, somewhat shady, and very family-friendly. For those in north Charlotte, especially up the I-77 corridor, McDowell Creek Greenway is worth a visit.

How to get there:
The McDowell Creek Greenway trailhead is located next to the Regal Birkdale at the intersection of Cranlyn Rd. and Townley Rd. The parking lot is across Cranlyn Rd. from Dick's Sporting Good's at 8825 Townley Rd., Huntersville, NC, 28078.

Don't forget to pack:
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Bikes and helmets (or other riding toys)
  • Hats sunglasses and sunscreen
  • Water and snacks

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