In an exceedingly wise use of space along the commuter rail line, this hard surface path connects uptwon Charlotte with the bars and businesses of South End. The wide, flat rail trail provides a safe place to run and a welcome alternative to commuting on sometimes congested city streets.
What Makes It Great
Officially called the Lynx Blue Line Rail Trail, as it parallels the light rail of the same name, is locally known as the Trolley Trail. The 3.3 mile path runs from uptown Charlotte to South End, passing breweries, art galleries, and a cool collections of hip eateries and popular sports bars along the way.
The hard surface, flat trail – it does closely parallel a rail line after all – is wide enough to accommodate the bike and pedestrian traffic it sees on a regular basis. . While it does come with road crossings they are usually only a brief interruption.
The surface is asphalt and concrete and you won’t find much mid-day shade, so the trail gets a bit warm on Carolina summer afternoons. Relief is well within reach. But in one of the greatest pairings in the world, brewery based run clubs often incorporate parts of the trail into their weekly routes.
The trail is also popular with recreational bike riders and non-motorized commuters looking for an alternative to the sometimes gridlocked roads near uptown. It’s common to see a well-dressed young banker walking home on the rail trail from a hard day of work uptown and a group of runners getting in miles before a beer at Sycamore Brewing.
Who is Going to Love It
Everyone looking for a quick option to get in some miles from uptown or South End Charlotte will enjoy a jog on the Trolley Trail. Runners hoping for the quad-challenge of a hilly route should consider the Booty Loop as an alternative.
As more craft breweries pop up in South End, this path will also gain importance as a walkable option for a Charlotte brewery tour.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
There are several spots to park and access the trail but none with better post run rewards than a brewery parking lot. Try Triple-C or Sycamore brewing as the start / end spot for your workout. Dogs are welcome on the path but should be leashed and cleaned up after