McDowell Nature Preserve

McDowell Nature Preserve
The Natural Place to Be

Visited: July 2020 Duration: 2 hours

McDowell Nature Preserve is the largest public park in the Charlotte -Mecklenburg County in North Carolina. It spans hundreds of acres along Lake Wylie’s eastern shore. The preserve encompasses a nature center, hiking trails, onsite camping and public boating access. It also contains an untouched piedmont prairie restoration and bird sanctuary. When I visited the preserve the Nature Center was closed due to COVID-19 guideline restrictions.

View of Lake Wylie from
McDowell Nature Preserve

The Preserve has more than seven miles of hiking/walking trails that anyone can enjoy. The is one paved trail which is accessible to those in wheelchairs and strollers. You can spend a short time at the preserve or all day. There is a tremendous about of things to see and do. It is an appropriate outdoor activity for families and people of any age.

McDowell Nature Preserve

Dogs are welcomed at the Preserve but must remain on a 6-foot or shorter leash at all times. There are doggy stations in various locations for dog owners to use and dispose of their dog’s waste. Remember when in nature…what you bring in you must also carry out.

There are trail signs to help guide you along you hike. There is also a downloadable map online. Public restrooms are available at the large shelters, the nature center, campground, and waterfront. There is also a shaded playgrounds and a variety of picnic areas for use on a first come first serve basis. If you desire to ride a bicycle through the Preserve you will be restricted to the paved roads. The dirt trails are reserved for walkers and hikers and are not well suited for bicycles.

The McDowell Nature Center is a proud member of the North Carolina Association of Environmental Education Centers. Feel free to visit the Preserve if you are ever in the Charlotte, North Carolina area. It is a great place to get outdoors, walk, hike, or just relax and enjoy the views.

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