Family & Pets

Best Dog Walking Trails In Charlotte

September 6, 2013 8:00 AM

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hiking dogs
Walking your dog can contribute to both your own health and that of your pet. Fortunately, Charlotte and the surrounding region offer numerous opportunities to explore nature with your canine companion. The walks we list are especially favored by dog owners interested in socializing with other pet owners. For a more rustic ramble within the city limits, check the Charlotte Mecklenburg Park and Rec’s website for maps to the new DIRTways, due to open this fall.
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Dogs ready to hike (Credit, Renee Wright)

Battlefield Trail At Kings Mountain National Park
2625 Park Road
Blacksburg, SC 29702
(864) 936-7921

Take your canine pal on a walk through history on the site of the battle that many historians believe was the turning point of the American Revolution. Located just 40 miles southwest of Charlotte, this national military park preserves the site of the Battle of Kings Mountain, where Cornwallis lost a major battle to the Overmountain patriots as well as his favorite aide, Major Patrick Ferguson, killed in the crossfire. The 1.5-mile Battlefield Trail, which begins at the visitor center, has signboards explaining the battle. Although paved, the trail is steep in spots and dogs must remain leashed. The 16-mile Park Loop Trail offers more challenge as well as primitive camping for experienced hikers.

Crowders Lake Trail At Crowders Mountain State Park
522 Park Office Lane
Kings Mountain, NC 28086
(704) 853-5375
www.ncparks.govSet at the base of Crowders Mountain, the .8-mile Lake Trail is a popular trek for dogs and their human companions. This easy track circles a nine-acre lake that is a favorite stop for ducks and geese. Nearby, the one-mile Fern Nature Trail follows a creek, if you want to add more distance. Both begin near the main park office off Sparrow Springs Road. Dogs must be leashed on all state trails.

Related: Best Hiking Trails In Charlotte

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Dog hiking on a snowy day. (Credit, Renee Wright)

Latta Plantation Nature Preserve
6211 Sample Road
Huntersville, NC 28078
(704) 875-1391

Sixteen miles of dirt trails for every ability lead across this nature preserve. Several are popular for dogs and their companions, including the 1.4-mile Split Rock Trail, offering great views of Mountain Island Lake, and several short trails leading to overlooks, including the Buzzard Rock Trail and Laura’s Trail to Wash Rock. The short and easy Cattail and Audubon trails lead down to the water. Some trails are shared with horses and their riders, but bikes are not allowed. Dogs must remain on a six-foot leash at all times in county parks and greenways.

Related: Best Dog Parks In Charlotte

Little Sugar Creek Greenway
E. 7th St. to Brandywine Road
Dilworth and Uptown Charlotte
(704) 432-1570
www.parkandrec.comWinding through the urban heart of the city, this paved greenway is part of an ambitious project that will one day stretch from North Tryon Street all the way to the South Carolina state line. The longest finished segment, totaling more than four miles, runs from East 7th Street near Memorial Stadium to Brandywine Road near Park Road Shopping Center. Along the way, it passes numerous Charlotte landmarks, including Central Piedmont Community College, the Capt. Jack statue, historic St. Mary’s Chapel and the Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial in Thompson Park, Metropolitan Square, the Liz Hair Nature Walk at Carolinas HealthCare, Freedom Park and the Charlotte Nature Museum. The greenway between 7th and Morehead streets will eventually be home to the Trail of History with a half-dozen bronze statues honoring significant figures from Charlotte’s past. The mounted statue of Capt. James Jack, a Revolutionary War hero, is the first of these.

Related: Best Dog-Friendly Restaurants In Charlotte

McAlpine Creek Park And Greenway
8711 Monroe Road
Charlotte, NC 28212
(704) 643-5725
www.parkandrec.comCharlotte’s most established greenway, begun in 1978, stretches for over four miles along McAlpine Creek and its tributary Campbell Creek across southeast Charlotte. McAlpine Creek Park, off Monroe Road, is the major access point. Trails here circle a pond and connect both east and west with the paved and gravel greenway. This is also the location of Fetching Meadow, Charlotte’s first off-leash dog park. The 1.5-mile Cottonwood Nature Trail can be accessed from parking lots off either Monroe Road or Sardis Road. River otters, beavers and mink all make their home in this park, and all dogs must remain on a six-foot leash while walking the trails.

Related: Best Greenways In Charlotte

With 15 years of experience covering restaurants in Charlotte and the Carolinas, and two regional guidebooks under her belt, Renee Wright examines the dining scene with enthusiasm plus a deep knowledge of food trends and outstanding local eating ops. Her work can be found at

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