Spring is most definitely in the air and for many Spring Break means the kids are home this week. If you’re looking for things to do on a dime, we’re lucky to have so many options right here in our “backyard”. Here are some of my favorites to get you and the kids outside. All of them are free or less than a few dollars a person. And you’ll be doing your part to teach your kids about the environment around them while the whole family gets in a little exercise.
There are hundreds of miles of walking, biking and hiking trails right here in the metro area. In Mecklenburg County, there are 33 miles of greenways with another 114 expected in the future. Several sections are more than 5 miles long and make great bike outings with your kids. The city/county website CharMeck.org has all of the parks listed with a map and the numbers of miles completed.
Just south of the border there are 2300 acres of forest, pasture and lakes for you to explore at the Anne Springs Close Greenway in Fort Mill. You can hit the trails on foot, bike or horseback for a nominal fee. There are 32 miles of trails and the greenways range in difficulty from paved and flat to unpaved and hilly.
In Union County, Crane Creek offers mountain bike and hiking trails on more than 1000 acres of forests. The park features a 350-acre lake, complete with a swimming beach and fishing area. You can even camp out if you plan ahead.
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The US National Whitewater Center also offers 11 miles of trails with views of the water park. Use of the trails is free and the whitewater facility offers bikes to rent on a first come, first serve basis.
Crowder's Mountain is just 30 miles from Charlotte and is great for families looking for an adventure along with breathtaking views. There’s hiking for every level along with rock climbing and camping.
And if you want to really hit the trail, tour the country’s first documented gold mine located an hour East of Charlotte in Midland. The history and landscape at Reed's Gold Mine are equally fascinating and panning for gold is great fun too! Tell the kids to take their time panning and they just might get lucky like me and discover a tiny piece of gold!
You don’t have to go far or spend a lot of money to enjoy the outdoors with your kids. You'll get in a little exercise and create some great memories at the same time.
This weeks eNewsletter at TerriBennett.com is loaded with “Do Your Part” ideas for Spring Break. From day trips from Charlotte to improving your vehicles fuel efficiency. Sign-up and be registered to receive one of three free Autobell Carwash coupons offered weekly.