Charlotte area

Charlotte is the hub of the Carolina Thread Trail, an ambitious project intended to link via trail the 2.3 million residents of a 15-county region.

A look at the Carolina Thread Trail map shows greenways popping up from Kings Mountain to Kannapolis, from Concord to Chester, S.C. Charlotte leads the way, with 33 miles of developed greenway, with plans to build another 147 miles throughout the city and Mecklenburg County.

Currently, the longest stretch of greenway in the system is the Mallard Creek/Clark’s Creek/Toby Creek network, which runs through the UNC Charlotte campus and heads north and west.

Charlotte | Mallard Creek/Clark’s Creek/Toby Creek greenways

8.5 miles

The interconnected Mallard Creek/Clark’s Creek/Toby’s Creek greenway network represents the longest stretch of contiguous greenway in the Charlotte/Mecklenburg greenway system.

Located in the northeast quadrant of the city, the greenway system offers long stretches uninterrupted by road crossings, making it ideal for training runs, family bike rides, power walks, long, contemplative strolls — just about any greenway activity. And because this trail is new, it — and you — benefit from the system’s recently introduced signage, making it easy to keep track of where you are and where you’re going. (A small feature you may not notice immediately: When you come to a split in the trail and are unsure which path to take, look down. Neighborhood access spurs are indicated with a street name stenciled into the blacktop, the main trail continues on the unmarked branch.

Greenway milestones: Mallard Creek

Greenway milestones: Clark’s Creek

McAlpine Creek/Campbell Creek Greenways

4.1 miles

The McAlpine Creek Greenway is where it all began in Charlotte: a couple miles of 10-foot-wide asphalt extending north from McAlpine Creek Park. That stretch later joined up with the Campbell Creek greenway to yield the current 4.1-mile swath of blacktop that prompts families with small kids to throw their bikes on the roof rack and make an afternoon of it when they visit McAlpine Creek Park. The greenway is also popular with runners, connecting with a prominent, certified natural surface 5K course that hosts a number of prominent races.

At present, the southern end of the McAlpine Creek Greenway ends abruptly at Sardis Road. Plans are in the works for a 1-mile extension that would take the greenway southwest to Providence Road. Learn more about that project here.

Greenway milestones