Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Lake Corriher Wilderness Park

On the way to see the Eccentric Cycles Exhibit at the N.C. Transportation Museum in Spencer, N.C. (fascinating and worth a visit!), we decided to check out a new-to-us park and trail. Which is how we discovered Lake Corriher Wilderness Park, located in China Grove, NC, about 40 minutes northeast of uptown Charlotte.

Lake Corriher Wilderness Park, located in the Lake Corriher Wilderness Area and run by the Town of Landis Department of Parks, is home to Lake Corriher and the old town reservoir. The park offers fishing (by permit), camping (by reservation), boating, disc golf (a nice, 12-hole course) and, of course, hiking. The park office provides passes and gear rentals (kayaks, discs, etc.) and is open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. April through September and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. October through March.

We found Lake Corriher easy to get to, full of wildlife, and pleasant for a water-side stroll. From the parking lot, you're a stone's throw from the first of the two lakes. There's also a map kiosk near the entrance, which is worth a glance before you set off to explore.

We did this hike, which hugs the banks of both lakes, following the red blazes on the first stretch and blue on the back half. A third of a mile in, there's a large picnic area with fire pits and large rocks for climbing on. While the start of this hike is pretty flat and easy, there's a reason for the "rough terrain" warning sign father in. Lots of rocks and roots make for a more challenging excursion. It's navigable, though, and one of our favorite parts was the boardwalk bridge crossing the tip of the second lake.

Another shorter, simpler hike is this Carolina Thread Trail around the first lake. It's less than a mile and good for all ages and abilities.

A word of warning: There's a spaghetti network of well-worn spur trails that are not all well marked. This makes it easy to get off track if you're not paying attention. Here's a park map to help you get the lay of the land.

If you're in the China Grove area, Lake Corriher is a nice place to visit. If you're looking for a reason to head up that way, the N.C. Transportation Museum is worth a trip in and of itself (go see the eccentric bikes if you get a chance, but, hurry, it only runs through early September 2021!). Pairing the Lake Corriher hike with a museum tour was a lovely day-outing for our crew and I'd recommend it to you as well.

How to get there:
Parking for Lake Corriher Wilderness Area is located at 955 Kimball Road, China Grove, NC 28023.

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