There comes a time in life when venturing outside to the “great outdoors” is needed! When that time comes, there are great places to connect with nature, see wildlife and simply be surrounded by untouched surroundings. Check out a few select places where natural habitats are preserved and the “great outdoors” are really… well great!
McDowell Nature Center and Preserve
McDowell Nature Center is home to the 1108-acre McDowell Nature Preserve. It is also the source for educational programs and information on the preserve’s natural communities, flora, and fauna. The preserve is the the oldest in Mecklenburg County and has been left 90% undeveloped. Aside from the great wildlife sightings, the preserve also features 56-Site Camp Ground, seven miles of hiking trails, playgrounds, picnic areas and tremendously rich viewing opportunities.
15222 York Road
Charlotte, NC 28278
Nature Center Hours:
Monday – Saturday
9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
1:00 – 5:00 p.m.
The Wing Haven Garden and Bird Sanctuary
Two Gardens, one memorable experience… The Wing Haven Garden and Bird Sanctuary have gardens that flourish, grounds that are manicured, preserved and nature that is fascinating to behold. Aside from gorgeous flowers, birds roam free and offer tremendous life and color to the touring experience. The mission is a simple, yet profound one: “Cultivating sanctuary in nature, environmental stewardship and the legacy of southern horticulture.” Aside from events, opportunities for photography, you can experience being a world away in just minutes. There are also classes that are offered for children as well as adults and opportunities for volunteering. For a great escape to see amazing wildlife, make plans to visit the Wing Haven Garden and Bird Sanctuary; beauty, learning and tranquility await.
248 Ridgewood Avenue, Charlotte, NC 28209
3 pm – 5 pm
10 am – noon
10 am – 5 pm
$6 for Adults/Members free.
Includes admission for both gardens.
No charge for children under 18.
Wing Haven’s parking lot is conveniently located between both gardens near 260 Ridgewood Avenue.
In consideration of people on Ridgewood Avenue, visitors are encouraged to make the short walk from the parking lot to the Elizabeth Lawrence House & Garden.
Handicap parking is available in the front of the building near the parking lot.
Reedy Creek Nature Center and Preserve
Reedy Creek Nature Center Preserve protects 737- acres of natural, forested habitat within Reedy Creek Park. With over ten miles of hiking trails in the nature preserve, tremendous opportunities await the outdoor enthusiast to enjoy scenic views of small lakes, forests, fields, streams, and wild life. Visitors to the preserve have the opportunity to walk between the nature preserve and the amenities in adjacent Reedy Creek Park such as the athletic fields, picnic shelters, or playgrounds. Aside from a plethora of picnic areas, visitors are also able to enjoy fishing opportunities in both Dragonfly and Slider Ponds, as well as golfing opportunities and various sport courts. Reedy Creek Nature Preserve preserves habitat for 109 species of birds, 15 species of mammals, 20 species of reptiles, and 12 species of amphibians. The preserve also protects the South Fork of Reedy Creek natural heritage site which represents the best example of a Mesic Mixed Hardwood Forest habitat remaining in Mecklenburg County. Tremendous learning opportunities, and fun await you and your family at Reedy Creek Nature Center and Preserve .
Address and Phone:
2900 Rocky River Rd Charlotte, NC 28213
Cicely C. Mitchell