Speaking of hills, the Sierra Loop is an undulating trail with numerous ups and downs, none of them particularly nasty. It's also the only trail that takes hikers into a very remote section of the park amid thick mature trees. Not only will you welcome the shade on a warm summer day, but under the trees are the highest populations of small critters and many birds. Birdsong and rustling are constant accompaniments to your and Fido's soft footfalls on the forest floor. Three creek crossings will challenge your footwear and balance, and the rolling piedmont will keep you alert.
Access to the Sierra Loop Trail is found at its signed trailhead that bears off from the South Fork Trail, which is only about .5 mile long. Parking is free and plentiful, and a picnic area, restrooms and shelter can be found at the entrance to the park. Look for white diamond blazes to help you stay on the right trail. While the trails are relatively short, some of the dense foliage can be disorienting.
Be sure to visit the Robinson Rock House, built in the 1700s by the last family to own the property before the city of Charlotte bought it and created the park. You'll also likely come upon some of the Native American artifacts scattered about. Remember to enjoy them, but leave them where you found them. This goes for Fido, too!
A trail worthy of your time and a treat for the dog, Sierra Loop is a not to be missed if you live in or are visiting Charlotte!