Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Airline Bike Park

Mountain bikers, trail runners and hikers, listen up: Airline Bike Park is calling your name. Located near the airport, about 20 minutes from uptown, this sprawling wooded recreation area offers trails for all interests and and skill levels. 

Built and maintained by the Tarheel Trailblazers, this six-mile, natural-surface, single-track trail system offers options ranging in difficulty from beginner to black diamond. Important to note, trails switch direction daily. Odd days are to be ridden clockwise, even days counter-clockwise. 

The Kitty Hawk loop, a 1.25-mile beginner trail, marked with green circle blazes is our favorite. This trail, accessible directly from the parking lot behind the map kiosk, poses minimal technical challenges. Rocks, roots and some short dips and climbs are the toughest obstacles. (Side note: Kitty Hawk is the one trail that doesn't switch directions; it is always ridden counter-clockwise.) 

Other trails offer various degrees of challenge. You can view the map and trail descriptions at the map kiosk, or check out this interactive map

This relatively new park is in a soft-launch phase and is currently open primarily on weekends and some occasional weekdays. Be mindful that trails close after rain. You can check trail status here

The parking lot is spacious, but does fill on pretty Saturdays and Sundays. Note: There are no restroom facilities; plan accordingly. 

When you go, you'll see folks ranging from hard-core mountain bikers to kids out for a spin. I like to follow the kids on foot while they ride. The trails are lovely for hiking as long as you keep an eye out for bikes and give them the right of way. 

If you haven't been, make Airline Bike Park a next new place to explore. I think you'll find it a nice option for getting out and getting moving, particularly on these pretty fall days!

How to get there
Airline Bike Park is located at 8101 Dixie River Rd., Charlotte, NC 28278. NOTE: The parking lot gate is currently open primarily on weekends and some weekdays here and there. Trails also close after rain. You can check trail status here

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