For four continuous miles, the McAlpine and Campbell Greenways mirror their namesake creeks taking joggers through one of the most bio-diverse areas in the city of Charlotte. Part crushed gravel, part pavement, these wide, smooth paths are an inviting place for an afternoon workout. At the center of the four mile stretch, McAlpine Creek Park adds another 5K worth of running trail on a championship cross country course plus a list of other amenities like a lake with fishing pier and outdoor workout stations.
What Makes It Great
The two greenways that connect at McAlpine Creek Park are the oldest in Charlotte. In fact, this Creekside path was the first greeway developed in the western piedmont, more than 30 years ago. Now the greenways, officially called McAlpine creek and Campbell Creek, are visited by local elite runners and families out for a morning stroll.
The creeks themselves are known for their biodiversity. The creek bed creates an urban oasis for otter and beaver while the wooded trails are home to one of the most diverse collections of birds in the area.
The wide stretch of greenway is also a safe haven for area runners. The smooth greenway, buffered on either side of stands of pine and hardwoods, offers four miles of protection from the noise and distractions of street running.
One of the best benefits of this trial, however, is that it passes through McAlpine Creek Park. The 114-acre park is home to sports fields, a small, scenic fishing lake, and a championship cross country course. Since it connects directly to the greenway, visitors have access to an additional 3.1 miles of running surface used by some of the best competitive runners in the area. This piece of crushed gravel trail has a few twists and turns and one decent hill to climb, adding a great change up from the straight, flat greenways.
McAlpine, as the area is typically referred to by locals, is fantastic for four-legged friends as well. Not only are they allowed on the trail with a leash, but the park also includes an off-leash dog park. Oh, and ducks. Dogs love ducks.
Who is Going to Love It
Lots of families take advantage of the wide greenways at McAlpine. It’s common to see plenty of moms and days on the trail, pushing their jogging strollers. But competitive runners also use McAlpine for a long run since seven total miles, one way, of trail is hard to find in the city. And of course, this is one of the best places for dog owners to tire out puppies on the trail and socialize them in the dog park.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
There are two popular parking locations. One is at McAlpine Creek Park and the other is on Boyce Rd, providing access to the connecting nature trail. Since the trail is shared by many modes of transport, it’s important to share the path and watch for people passing from behind. The park has bathroom and water facilities. Dogs should be leashed while in the park or on the trail.