Best Places to Run in Charlotte: Top Trails and Routes

Charlotte, North Carolina, is a city that is perfect for runners. With its abundance of parks, greenways, and trails, there are plenty of beautiful places to run. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned runner, Charlotte has something for everyone.

One of the best places to run in Charlotte is the Little Sugar Creek Greenway. This 5.5-mile trail runs parallel to I-277 and offers a scenic route through rolling hills and forests. Along the way, runners can enjoy several parks, including Freedom Park, Elizabeth Park, Thompson Park, Alexander Street Park, and Cordelia Park. Another popular spot for runners is McAlpine Creek Park, which has a soft surface for those who like to avoid asphalt and concrete.

For those looking for a more challenging run, Charlotte has several hills that provide a great workout. The hills on Colony Road after crossing over Summerlin Place leading up to Carmel Road are particularly challenging.

Runners looking to ace their half marathon can try an 11.2-mile route that includes Providence Road and Rea, which has an overall hilly route. Whether you are looking for a leisurely jog or a challenging workout, Charlotte has plenty of options for runners.

Top Parks and Greenways for Running

When it comes to running in Charlotte, there are plenty of parks and greenways to choose from. Here are some of the top options for runners in the area.

Uptown Parks and Stadium Loop

Located in the heart of Charlotte, the Uptown Parks and Stadium Loop is a popular route for runners looking for a scenic and challenging workout. The loop features a variety of urban green spaces, including Romare Bearden Park, First Ward Park, and Fourth Ward Park. The loop also takes runners past Bank of America Stadium, home of the Carolina Panthers, and BB&T Ballpark, home of the Charlotte Knights.

Little Sugar Creek Greenway

One of the most popular greenways in Charlotte, the Little Sugar Creek Greenway offers runners a scenic route through the heart of the city. The trail stretches for over 19 miles, with sections that wind through parks, neighborhoods, and commercial districts. Highlights along the route include Freedom Park, Elizabeth Park, and Cordelia Park.

McAlpine Creek Park

Located in southeast Charlotte, McAlpine Creek Park offers runners a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city. The park features over 8 miles of trails, including the popular Four Mile Creek Greenway. Runners can enjoy scenic views of the lake and surrounding woods, as well as a variety of wildlife, including deer and waterfowl.

Overall, Charlotte offers a wealth of options for runners looking to stay active and explore the city’s parks and greenways. Whether you prefer a challenging urban loop or a peaceful nature trail, there’s something for everyone in this beautiful North Carolina city.

Running Trails with Beautiful Views

Charlotte has plenty of running trails that offer scenic views of nature preserves, lakes, hills, and more. Here are two of the best running trails with beautiful views in Charlotte:

Sharon Road

Sharon Road is a popular running trail that offers beautiful views of the surrounding area. This trail is perfect for runners who want to enjoy nature while getting in a good workout. Along the way, runners will pass through several scenic areas, including a nature preserve and a lake.

The Sharon Road trail is also a great place for runners who want to bring their dogs along. Dogs are welcome on this trail as long as they are on a leash. Additionally, the trail is well-maintained and offers plenty of shade, making it a great option for runners who want to stay cool during hot summer days.

US National Whitewater Center

The US National Whitewater Center is a popular destination for runners and fitness enthusiasts in Charlotte. This center offers several running trails that offer stunning views of the surrounding area. The trails range in difficulty from easy to challenging, making them suitable for runners of all levels.

In addition to running, the US National Whitewater Center also offers mountain biking, kayaking, and other outdoor activities. This makes it a great place to visit for anyone who wants to enjoy the great outdoors while getting in a good workout.

Overall, Charlotte has no shortage of running trails that offer beautiful views of the surrounding area. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely jog through a nature preserve or a challenging run up a hill, there’s a trail in Charlotte that’s perfect for you.

Other Outdoor Running Options

In addition to the popular running trails in Charlotte, there are other outdoor options for runners to explore. Two great options are the Anne Springs Close Greenway and the McDowell Creek Greenway.

Anne Springs Close Greenway

Located in Fort Mill, just south of Charlotte, the Anne Springs Close Greenway offers over 40 miles of trails for running, hiking, and biking. The trails wind through forests, fields, and pastures, providing runners with a variety of terrain to navigate. The Greenway also includes a cross-country course, loop options, and even a playground for those looking to bring their families along for the run. Wildlife sightings are common, with deer, foxes, and rabbits often seen along the trails. For those looking for a longer adventure, the Greenway also hosts several races throughout the year.

McDowell Creek Greenway

The McDowell Creek Greenway is a 4.5-mile trail located in northeast Charlotte. The trail runs along the creek and through several parks, including the Reedy Creek Nature Preserve. The trail is relatively flat, making it a great option for runners of all levels. The Greenway also includes loop options and connects to other trails in the area, providing runners with the opportunity to extend their run. The trail is popular with both runners and bikers, so be sure to keep an eye out for other users.

Whether you’re looking for a change of scenery or just want to mix up your running routine, the Anne Springs Close Greenway and the McDowell Creek Greenway are both great options for outdoor running in Charlotte and the surrounding areas. And if you’re looking for a place to stay, there are several hotels in the area, including the Bank of America Hotel in downtown Charlotte and the Dilworth Inn in the Dilworth neighborhood.

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