South Charlotte

Greenway along creek is nearing completion

It's almost complete: the Ballantyne area's own little slice of natural walking trails along Four Mile Creek.

Before I go any further, it should be noted that signs posted along the trail state, “Greenway Trail is Closed. Greenway Trail construction is continuing along Four Mile Creek. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities is also working on the construction of the McAlpine Creek Relief Sewer. The Greenway should be open for use August 2008.”

Now, I know August has passed. But this new greenway is still under construction and is not officially open. However, judging by the activity on the trails, I don't think people are really paying attention to the signs.

Park and Rec's Web site goes on to say, “The trail will link the existing McMullen/Lower McAlpine greenways to neighborhoods east of Johnston Road along Four Mile Creek.”

This latest addition to the county greenway system is about two miles long and will run between Rea and Johnston roads. The entrance for Rea Road will be by Bevington Lane (near Trader Joe's) and will run west. For Johnston Road, the entrance will be just north of Toringdon (by Earth Fare) on the east side of the road.

The Johnston Road entrance is further marked by a small parking lot and restroom facilities still under construction. That will be a nice little extra once it's complete.

What the greenway will provide is a great local place to take a walk with the dogs, go for a run or bike ride, and spend some time out of the house with the family (or by yourself, if you've had about enough family time).

Judging by the grocery bags some folks carried, neighborhood residents also use it as an alternative way, and a greener way, to get some light shopping done. The path is mostly shaded and is predominately a boardwalk, so it makes for a peaceful, pleasant stroll.

It was obvious that all the rain last week had an impact on the trail. From the fallen trees, water-swept debris and overall muddy appearance of surrounding shrubbery, it was quite clear that much of the trail was underwater at one point.

However, it didn't detract from the overall tranquility. It was one of those moments when you stop and realize you never knew something like this existed so close to home.

Parks and Rec officials couldn't immediately say last week when the greenway will officially open. But when it does, it will give all of us in this part of town an easy place to access some of the simpler things in life. So, stay on the lookout for the official opening. You can even call 311 for more information.

The addition of this greenway improves the overall quality of life in the Ballantyne area. And, you have to admit, we have it pretty good here already. Happy trails.