McDowell Nature Preserve Trails

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Trail Distance: 8.1 miles
Time Estimate: 10 min+
Elevation Gain: 406 feet
Leash Rule: On Leash
Difficulty: Moderate
Parking: Free
Route Type: Loop
Restroom: Yes
Description

McDowell Nature Preserve is a large forest-filled preserve that has tons of hiking trails to explore with your pup. Dogs are welcome to join you in this pawsitively amazing preserve on-leash.

The majority of McDowell Nature Preserve’s trails connect with each other, allowing you to easily customize your hike. One of the most pawpular trails in the park is the 1.1-mile Chestnut Trail. This trail begins at the preserve’s campground, and takes you through a natural valley, past a lovely creek, and up a few steep inclines. If you’d like to extend your hike, Chestnut Trail connects to the 1.1-mile Kingfisher Trail. This trail goes along scenic Lake Wylie and past a waterfront deck that has a picnic table.

The 0.8-mile Cove Trail is another great trail to explore with your furry best friend. This trail begins at the McDowell Pavilion parking lot, where restrooms and picnic tables are available. The trail takes you past a picturesque cove right on the shore of Lake Wylie, and it also goes through a grove filled with Southern Sugar Maples. The Cove Trail connects to the scenic 0.5-mile Shady Hollow Trail, which goes through a beautiful pine forest and along a stream that’s surrounded by native plants.

McDowell Nature Preserve is also home to lots of other small and scenic trails that are perfect for short strolls with your pup. If you’d like to hike through a woodland area filled with Red Cedar trees, check out the 0.8-mile Pine Hollow Trail, which begins at the Nature Center. Or, if you want to go on a stroll by Piedmont Stream, hop on the paved 0.4-mile Four Seasons Trail. No matter which trail you choose, you and your dog are sure to have fun hiking here!

McDowell Nature Preserve is a great place to spend the day hiking with your dog. Be sure to bring water and doggy bags with you, and have a furrific day out at this preserve!

Trail Features
Forest, Lake, River
Abundant Wildlife, Wildflowers, Scenic
Cautions & Considerations

Poison ivy grows in the preserve. Be sure to look out for this plant as you’re hiking. Also, make sure to check your dog for ticks when you leave the preserve.

Address
15222 York Rd
Charlotte, NC 28278
Hours
Mon 7:00 AM - Sunset
Tue 7:00 AM - Sunset
Wed 7:00 AM - Sunset
Thu 7:00 AM - Sunset
Fri 7:00 AM - Sunset
Sat 7:00 AM - Sunset
Sun 7:00 AM - Sunset
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Address
15222 York Rd
Charlotte, NC 28278
Hours
Mon 7:00 AM - Sunset
Tue 7:00 AM - Sunset
Wed 7:00 AM - Sunset
Thu 7:00 AM - Sunset
Fri 7:00 AM - Sunset
Sat 7:00 AM - Sunset
Sun 7:00 AM - Sunset