Anyone familiar with competitive cross-country running in North Carolina — or in the Southeast, for that matter — knows about McAlpine Park. Amid the fishing pier, the gazebo, the horseshoe pits at this 462-acre county park is one of the most popular cross-country courses in the region.

How good is the course? For the answer, we’ll defer to someone with credentials, Wake Forest University senior Allison Homer, who’s raced the course numerous times as a Deacon, including a season-best 18 minute 21.5 second performance at last year’s Charlotte Invitational. (Allison also works in our Winston-Salem store.) Allison?

“The BEST and fastest cross-country course in the Southeast USA. Great for speed work. Extremely well-kept, hard-packed dirt. Starts next to a field, goes into a beautiful wooded section, out around a pond, then back into a field. Watch your step going down the hill- super steep and narrow.”

For a longer run, hook up with several miles of adjoining greenway out of the park.

More info


Getting there from downtown Charlotte

photo courtesy
Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 15 minutes from downtown Charlotte
Length: 3.1 miles
Time to complete: Sub 15 minutes (if you’re a world-class runner)
Address: 8711 Monroe Road
City: Charlotte
State: N.C.
Zip: 28212
Latitude: 35.0905
Longitude: 80.4445