Mallard Creek and Clark Creek Greenways connect for just over 7 miles of continuous trail, one of the longest stretches in Charlotte. The mostly shaded, paved and gravel surface trails follow their namesake creeks closely, providing a pleasant place to enjoy a leisurely ride or commute around the University area. The creek beds provide a permanent or temporary home to several bird, mammal, and amphibious specious.
What Makes It Great
Although commonly referred to simply as Mallard Creek, this section of trail is actually made up of two greenways: Mallard Creek and Clark Creek. Beginning at the Kirk Farm soccer field, the Mallard Creek Greenway travels west first as pavement, turning to gravel for just over a mile, and then back to pavement. Just after the hard top begins again, Clarks Creek Greenway Y’s off to the north while Mallard continues on generally west.
Through its travels, the greenways connect the University of North Carolina at Charlotte with several neighborhoods and elementary schools. It’s proximity to these population centers and its generally pleasant design make the trail a popular amenity to those in the university area. While the trail is plenty wide for its traffic, it is a good idea to watch for cyclists.
Following their namesake creeks, the wide, smooth path remains well shaded along most of its length. There are only a few gentle hills to contend with. It's pretty common to spot large turtles making their way across the trail and hear a symphony of birds and frogs belting out a tune as you roll by.
Who is Going to Love It
Mostly shaded, easy to follow, and comfortable to ride, the greenway system near UNC Charlotte is a common destination for beginner cyclists, families, and everyone wanted a change of pace from the road. Students use the trail as a connector to local shops and restaurants.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
There are multiple parking options but if you want to start at one end instead of the middle, park at Kirk Farm Fields – 210 East Mallard Creek Church Road. Dogs are allowed but should be leashed and helmets are always a great idea. The greenway sees just about every type of non-motorized transportation, so watch for slower movers and pay attention for those trying to pass.