Adventure

High Five for Getting Outside in Charlotte

Get in the heat of the action with these five ways to get you active and outdoors.

Soaking up the last rays of sun at Aloha Paddle and Surf - photo courtesy of Aloha Paddle and Surf.

When the weather warms up, Charlotte comes alive. Locals flock to favorite outdoor spots like Freedom Park to enjoy a picnic while watching bikers pedal along the trails or to the U.S. National Whitewater Center to sip a beer while adventurers carve up the rapids.

What fun is standing on the sidelines as a spectator, though? Isn’t the real excitement found in the heat of the action? Here are five ways to get you active and outdoors this spring!

Aloha Paddle and Surf

Aloha Paddle and Surf in Cornelius is Charlotte’s source for all things standup paddleboarding. Not only does Aloha rent and sell SUP boards, it also offers SUP yoga sessions, races and beginner SUP classes. However, the most fun might be had with Full Moon and Night Paddle Excursions, complete with LED-lit boards ($65 admission includes your board)!

Booty Loop in Myers Park

No, The Booty Loop in Charlotte’s Myers Park neighborhood is not just for a 24-hour relay race with a somewhat inappropriate name. Bikers, joggers, walkers, inline skaters, and others use the 2.8-mile loop throughout the year as a fun and safe road lane for exercise. The route is popular not only for the canopy of trees it runs beneath but also because it doesn’t cross any major intersections.

Spoke Easy

The best way to keep yourself accountable with any fitness activity is to join a community. Cue The Spoke Easy in Charlotte’s Elizabeth neighborhood. The bike shop sells everything you need to get started biking and also has an on-site restaurant and bar, where like-minded folk gather over libations while talking about the spot they love. The Spoke Easy also hosts weekly rides.

Hornet’s Nest Park BMX Biking

Yes, you read that correctly. There’s BMX biking right here in the Queen City. Part of In the Zone Bicycle Shop in North Charlotte, Hornet’s Nest Park offers weekly bike races for all ages and skill levels. Annual membership is $60, with many of the races charging an additional $5 or $10. Don’t know if you’re ready to pony up the money to join? Beginners’ clinics are free!

Long Island Paddle Sports

Want to get your paddle wet kayaking but afraid of the crazy weekend boat traffic on Lake Norman? Check out  Long Island Paddle Sports, located on the northern tip of the lake. The outfitter’s remote location away from the fray of weekend boaters makes it an ideal spot to rent kayaks and standup paddleboards. Rent a single-seat kayak ($35 a day) or a standup paddleboard ($45 a day) to enjoy calm waters. Point your bow toward the waterfall at Balls Creek and relish the wildlife along the way—turtles, fish and an array of water birds await your gaze.