In an area of Charlotte that sees a bit less traffic than the north and south sides, and close to the now complete 485 loop, Renaissance Park is one of the more accessible single-track rides in the city. At only 6 miles, the trails at Renaissance aren’t terribly long but provide enough fun that riding multiple loops isn’t boring.
Cutting through a small patch of forest sitting adjacent to the ballfields and volleyball courts in the park, the single track trails Renaissance see moderate traffic but never seem congested.
What Makes It Great
The trails are Renaissance have a great mix of decent stretches of flowing trail, sections of tighter turns, and a few hills and features for skills practice.
The trail system is made of up two sections of single-track: the volleyball loop and the softball loop. Each is three miles and connected by a parking lot.
As the name suggests, the softball loop is located near the softball fields. A little less technical than the other option, the softball loop allows for some decent speed-building run-ups. A few hills, bridges, and rock gardens add some challenge but are generally surmountable by a beginner/intermediate rider.
Although nothing at the park is terribly advanced, the volleyball loop (located near, you guessed it, the volleyball courts) is the slightly more technical of the two sections. More hills and rocky / rooty bits add a touch of challenge but still allows for plenty of speed.
Who is Going to Love It
This isn't for anyone looking for an all day excursion. Experienced riders who live or work on the west side of Charlotte make good use of these trails as a quick stop after work. While Lake Norman State Park and the USNWC have, perhaps, even better beginner trails, the Renaissance system is a decent one for those with less trail experience.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
The trails can be difficult to find the first time you enter Renaissance. They are well marked however, so once you find the correct parking area the rest is easy. Drive all the way around the softball fields and park in the back lot. The entrance to the softball loop is towards the left side of the lot (looking away from the fields) and the volleyball loop entrance is farther right.
Single-track rules apply. Announce your approach to slower movers, give way to faster movers, wear a helmet, and save the trail by waiting 24 hours after significant rainfall.