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 

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