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Little Sugar Creek Greenway provides trails that run through both urban and natural settings. There are works of public art positioned throughout the trail, including a mirrored sphere and a terrace that couples occasionally use for weddings. The Greenway connects to a number of parks, offering places for you to stop, rest, and relax along your journey.
In addition to being the oldest park in Charlotte, this 24-acre parcel in the heart of Charlotte's Elizabeth neighborhood serves your every recreational need. For athletes, Independence Park has a batting cage, two basketball courts, two tennis courts, a volleyball court, and three hiking trails. Families make good use of the sheltered picnic area and the playground. If romance is in the air, stroll by the reflecting pool or through the rose garden. A number of shelters, including the rose garden's gazebo, are available for private events. See website for reservation information.
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.
Symphony Park is a beautiful setting to enjoy free music with friends, family and loved ones. Located in South Park, this space offers a free summer concert series and a number of outdoor movies under the stars. Seating is first come first served, so be sure to arrive early if you'd like a clear view of the entertainment.
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.
McAlpine Creek Park is a favorite Charlotte destination for a quiet and relaxing picnic. For a more active take on a day in the sun, McAlpine Creek boasts a number of trails for walking or running. There is also a pond in the middle of the park that many use for fishing. This park is a wonderful place to spend a day away from the stresses of daily life.
These botanical gardens are run by the University of North Carolina Charlotte campus and are comprised of three separate sites- the Van Landingham Glen, the Susie Harwood Garden, and the McMillan Greenhouse. There is a wide variety of plants among the gardens, including rhododendrons, native Carolina flora, orchids, desert succulents, and carnivorous pitcher plant hybrids. There are also many walking paths and interesting landscape architecture displays to please the eye. The park is open daily and features an ever-changing collection that varies depending on the time of year, so be sure to check the website for updates.
Along the banks of Lake Wylie, McDowell Nature Center and Preserve is an almost undeveloped forest area and one of Charlotte's main attractions. The center aims to educate people about the need to conserve the ecology and environment. The place is home to over 100 species of birds and 21 species of mammals and amphibians. Rare species, such as the Seminole bat and the Loggerhead Shrike, are also spotted here. Those interested in kayaking, canoeing, nature walking, and fishing can get in touch with the center for information.