Crowders Mountain State Park
Love how close this is to Charlotte. Its super dog friendly and a moderate hike. Made for a great afternoon without having to dedicate a whole day to a hike. We did the pinnacle trail. We got there about 10am on a Saturday in January and had no issues finding parking. Will definitely come back to try another trail!
There is nothing that I don't love about Crowders! You can take your dogs on easy to moderate hikes at main entrance location. Or you can challenge yourself at the Linwood access trail and get an amazing workout at this challenging hiking trail. Pretty much straight up to peak, I call it the 'a** eraser ' trail! Lol! There is also amazing rock climbing, some bouldering and breath taking views from both summits. If you love nature and haven't been...go!! There is also camping. Main entrance has visitors center. Linwood access doesn't, but does have restrooms at base. Year round hiking. Spring is crazy busy, so go early. There is also a leisurely lake trail with canoeing available. Many trails to choose from and hikes from 1 to 6 hours and every fitness level. 5 stars!
Was a nice hike. Had to do it in steel toe work shoes, but was pleasant overall. Took me 1 hr up and 45 min down. There are a few areas that may cause some issues for the non athletic type.
Great on slow days, but terrible on busy days. The trails aren't very difficult, but you can get a good challenging workout if that is your goal. The views are the best you will find this close too Charlotte. The thing that makes this park not worth going to is the crowds. If you go on a (non holiday) weekday, when the kids are in school; you have the ability to enjoy nature. Unfortunately on most weekends, especially during warmer months, it gets so crowded that it feels like your are walking around uptown Charlotte... assuming you get there early enough before parking fills up and the rangers start turning people away. If you are willing to drive a little further, I'd recommend visiting South Mountain State Park if Crowders is full.
This place is great! We hike - and this is a great place to go! Close to Charlotte, but the views are wide open and not views of the city! So much to see on the ground in the trees and rocks, and up in the sky! There are trails here for all skill levels. Everything is pretty well marked, and the maps are spot on. The staff in the welcome center was very nice. Don't be turned off by the busy parking lot - with all the trails and service roads, it is easy for people to spread out. Take the water and carb refueling food - it is easy to pick up a new trail and just keep going! Really an amazing park to me.