The temperature may still be chilly, but that’s no reason to let snow day cabin fever set in. Bundle up your kids and head to one of these favorite parks for a little outdoor time before the rain hits eaerly next week!
McDowell Nature Preserve: This 1108-acre preserve along the banks of Lake Wylie in southwest Mecklenburg is a great place to take the kids hiking or on a nature walk. The preserve also has a great playground and a free nature center with snakes, frogs and other creatures. 15222 York Road, Charlotte, NC 28278. www.charmeck.org
Latta Plantation Nature Preserve: At this 1,343-acre preserve, the largest in Mecklenburg, you can hike, canoe, ride horses, see a historic plantation house, check out live animals in its nature center and more. You can even take a Segway tour. 6211 Sample Road in Huntersville. 704-875-1391 www.charmeck.org
Reedy Creek Park and Nature Preserve: 10 miles of hiking trails, as well as picnic shelters, a playground, a fishing pier, an 18-hole disc golf course and a variety of sports facilities off Rocky River Road in northeast Charlotte. www.charmeck.org
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McAlpine Creek Park & Greenway: Charlotte’s original greenway park, it was the first public greenway trail ever built in the western piedmont of North Carolina. It includes 8.9 miles of greenway, cross country trails, and nature trails off Monroe Road in east Charlotte. It also connects to James Boyce Park. www.charmeck.org