This well-marked trail network is a multi-use system popular with hikers and mountain bikers as well. You don’t see many of the former, and while you do the latter, their presence benefits the trail runner because the trails, as is the case with most mountain bike trail, are well-marked and identified by degree of difficulty. Warm up on the green (“beginner/easy, mostly flat trails”), progress to the blue (“intermediate, slight elevation changes”) and if you’re up for it, proceed to the black (“advanced, steep elevation changes”). All meander through a lush, mature Piedmont forest.

The green and blue trails are well-maintained and foot-friendly. The black appeal to a hard-core mountain biker’s sensibilities: stream crossings, rocks and roots are prized features. Thus, they may be beyond what the average trail runner is up for.

A couple caveats: these trails are closed when wet; if in doubt, check the Web site (trail status is indicated on the home page). And because the trails are on the grounds of the Whitewater Center, there is a fee of $5 per visit, or $40 annually. (Note: This fee does not include admission to the Whitewater Center and its various activities.)

More info


Getting there from downtown Charlotte
Difficulty: Moderate to strenuous
Distance: 20 minutes from downtown Charlotte
Length: 17 miles (consumable in smaller loops)
Time to complete: 1-3 hours
Address: 5000 Whitewater Center Parkway
City: Charlotte
State: N.C.
Zip: 28214
Latitude: 35.1646
Longitude: 81.0045