Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Revisiting Charlotte's Trail of History

There's a new statue on Charlotte's Trail of History, another reason to (re)visit this self-guided walking tour along the paved Little Sugar Creek Greenway. (You can learn more about the excursion from this post on the Trail of History.) 

What's recently changed is the addition of a bronze statue honoring civil right attorney Julius Chambers to the 1.5-mile "outdoor museum" featuring people who were instrumental in the growth and development of Charlotte. 

Chambers, who was from Mount Gilead, accomplished many things in his lifetime that make him worthy of this recognition. You might know his name from the Swann V. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education case, which set the precedent for integrating schools nationwide in 1971. 

Chambers also won seven other cases in the U.S. Supreme Court, founded North Carolina's first integrated law firm, served as NAACP Legal Defense fund director and was chancellor at his alma mater, N.C. Central University. 

Chambers died in 2013 at 76, but his legacy most certainly remains in and around Charlotte. You can find his statue near the large fountain along Kings Dr. near S. Torrence St. (just past Dunkin' Donuts if you're heading away from town). 

Check out the Trail of History website for more information about the historic individuals featured. You can also see a trail map here

Another fun recent development: The Little Sugar Creek Greenway now extends north of the northern end of the Trail of History with a recently opened section that connects 7th St. to 10th. St., and on to NoDa. Read about the new section here

How to get there
The Trail of History runs along the Little Sugar Creek Greenway from 7th St. to Morehead St. Parking is available in a number of places along that stretch, including at the Metropolitan (Target/BJ's deck) at 1116 Metropolitan Ave. (jump on the greenway on the other side of Wendy's) or the Elizabeth Park parking lot at 1124 E. 4th St. (there is a four hour limit on parking here). We also sometimes park in the CPCC lot at the corner of 7th and Kings Dr. adjacent to Memorial Stadium/Grady Cole Center. 

The Little Sugar Creek Greenway is also accessible as far south as Park Road Shopping Center and as far north as NoDa at Cordelia Park. Consider a bike ride from either end! 

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