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This 98-acre (40 hectare) public park is a slice of nature at its best, right in the middle of the city. Complete with four baseball diamonds, two batting cages, a dozen tennis courts, four soccer fields, a basketball court, a pair of volleyball courts, a pair of playgrounds, a seven-acre (two hectare) lake, an amphitheater, a number of sheltered picnic areas, and miles of trails and paths, Freedom Park has something for everyone. There's even a concession stand for joggers in need of water or sun bathers in need of ice cream. Many of the picnic shelters are reservable, as are the Freedom Park Bandshell and the Mahlon Adams Pavilion, a banquet hall that seats 70 people.
Reedy Creek Nature Center boasts more than 10 miles of walking trails through protected forests. These trails lead through a variety of terrain and provide breath-taking views of Reedy Creek Park's lakes, streams, forests and wildlife. The Nature Center also houses live, native animals and an exhibit hall, allowing visitors to learn valuable information about their surroundings on their trip.
Latta Park began as a real estate developer's ploy to lure the people of Charlotte out of the crowded city center and into the suburbs. Today, the South End is far from suburban, and Latta Park remains a thing of beauty. Long, narrow and green, the 31-acre park is home to a basketball court, a multi-purpose field, two softball fields, six tennis courts, a volleyball court, a six-table sheltered picnic area, a recreation center, a playground, a sprayground, and miles of trails. See website for park map and reservable facilities information. Open daily.
Located in the center of the city, Marshall Park provides a peaceful reprieve from the hustle and bustle of city life. Lush green stretches are interspersed by a few man made structures and a pristine lake. The park is a great place to click a few photos since it gets an unobstructed view of the entire city skyline. Some well-known structures which can be found here include the Holocaust Monument and the towering stature of Martin Luther King.
Wing Haven Gardens and Bird Sanctuary was designed and created by Elizabeth and Edwin Clarkson in 1927, encompassing almost three acres in the Myers Park neighborhood of Charlotte. The estate includes the original house built by the couple, as well as extensive gardens which are now home to an array of flowers, local trees and birds. There are many winding paths to explore, with informational plaques lining the brick walkways. The Clarkson house is also worth a visit, as it has been renovated to replicate its original style. Also, make sure to check out the website for more information about the estate, as well as fun tips like recipes for peanut butter birdseed cakes. Guided tours for groups are available on some weekday mornings and reservations can be made by phone.