For more than 10 miles the foot only trails at Reedy Creek pass through dense forests and around small lakes. For Trail runners, Reedy Creek offers a rare chance to run a single-track trail without mountain bikes.
Reedy Creek Park, and the adjacent nature preserve, draw all sorts of Charlotteans. Disc golfers, dog owners, and families visit for the facilities located at the park. For runners, the draw is miles of shady single-track that is for them only. Reedy Creek is one of the few parks in the area that are not dual purpose. Passing over gentle hills and around a small, wooded lake, the trails at Reedy are a great mid-week diversion.
What Makes It Great
Trail runners and mountain bikers coexist on the roughly hundred miles of single track around Charlotte that is managed and maintained by the wizards of the Tarheel Trailblazers. But at Reedy Creek, one of the oldest municipal parks around town, the trails are for feet only.
Gentle elevation changes add just enough challenge to remind your quads that you are not on a greenway, but there is nothing out of the range of run-ability for someone with moderate trail experience. The system is made up of several loops, Dragonfly being the longest at 1.5. While this can make things a little confusing on the trail it also makes it easy to design a distance that suits your workout.
The parking lot at the nature center is a great starting point. From here you can put together an easy to follow, three-mile run beginning on the Umbrella Tree Trail and linking to the Dragonfly Pond and Big Oak Trails, each about one mile. There are several ways to add more distance and, if you like, connect to every trail in the park.
Who is Going to Love It
Being good trail partners with mountain bikers is important but can be unnerving for new runners. Without the worry of watching for bikers, Reedy Creek is a good option for new-to-the-trail runners to focus on form. While some trails do get a bit more technical, everything is achievable for every level of runner.
Plenty of experienced runners also take advantage of the long stretches of unbroken trail and abundance of facilities at the park.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
There are several spots to park and jump on trails. The trails around the nature center at the end of the park road are a little less confusing so a better starting spot if you’re new to Reedy Creek. Dogs are allowed but should be leashed. The park does have an enclosed, off-leash dog park so your pup can stretch his legs as well. There are bathrooms and water fountains at the nature center and at several other spots around the park,