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 

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