The 49ers Trail
Welcome to the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, a community devoted to both school spirit and green spaces. For its collective student body of more than 29K undergraduate and graduate students, UNCC has abundant programs for Bachelor's, Master's and Doctoral degrees. For residents and visitors, the campus and surrounding University City area is alive with public and performance art, athletic events, fitness trails, gardens, retail, dining and beyond. As for the UNCC nickname, “the 49ers” references the year that a permanent college was first established in Charlotte, the fact that the campus is located on NC Highway 49 and the history of Charlotte as a rich gold mining area. Norm the Niner is the official mascot – a student wearing a Charlotte 49ers athletic uniform and slouch hat, with a pick-axe in hand.
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Take a look at the trail details while you’re on the move.
UNCC Main Station to Shoppes at University Place
- 1.3 miles
- 28-min walk
- 8-min bike ride
- Easy intensity
UNCC Main Station to end of Clark’s Creek Greenway
- 6.2 miles
- 2 hours, 6-min walk
- 35-min bike ride
- Strenuous intensity
Neighborhoods to Note
First Ward, Optimist Park, NoDa, University City
The Dubois Center at UNCC Center City, the urban extension of the main campus
Take a look at this uniquely-design structure meant to enhance the skyline while resembling a stack of books next to First Ward Park. The name honors the legacy of former Chancellor Philip Dubois and First Lady Lisa Dubois, who have served as leaders in both the campus and Charlotte communities.
Ride the light rail from 9th Street Station to UNCC Main Station
Just 10 light rail stops from Uptown, the main UNCC campus is like a little world of its own. En route, be sure to take in all of the public art commissioned for the borders of the LYNX Blue Line track.
The UNCC main campus, 1,000 acres in size
You could spend half a day walking around here (and please feel free to, with this campus walking tour map). Make a point to check out the Student Union Art Gallery, which represents student life; Jerry Richardson Stadium where 49ers football happens; and Robinson Hall, which hosts more than 100 performing arts events annually.
the UNCC Botanical Gardens, which have been evolving since 1966
The Gardens were originally created as a classroom for biology students and as a horticultural and botanical resource for the community. Admission is free.
Veer off from campus: Shoppes at University Place or the nearby greenways
Option 1: Shoppes at University Place, complete with a serene lake
Follow Craver Road to continue onto Phillips Road. Access the UNCC Fitness Trail to North Tryon Street. Turn right onto North Tryon and take the sidewalk to JW Clay Boulevard. Turn left into the Shoppes.
Take the UNCC Fitness Trail to reach the more than 38 shops, services and dining spots at this energetic community center. Retail options include Uptown Cheapskate consignment, Chico’s Outlet and Velocity Sneaker Boutique, while the real gems are the lakeside concert series and boardwalk.
Ninety’s Ice Cream and Sandwiches
A grilled cheese paired with a donut ice cream sandwich sounds like the ideal college diet.
The Wine Vault
For music, wine and beer. Sip a flight.
Option 2: Toby Creek, Mallard Creek and Clark’s Creek Greenways
To explore the greenways further, follow Craver Road to turn left onto Cameron Boulevard. Access the greenway paths and turn right onto Toby Creek Greenway to continue to Mallard Creek Greenway and to Clark’s Creek Greenway.
Soak up 5.5 miles of greenway along the Toby Creek, Mallard Creek and Clark’s Creek Greenways. These segments of the Carolina Thread Trail feature paved and gravel trails, passage through a floodplain forest and connection to Kirk Farm Fields, a 36-acre park with soccer fields, as well as University Research Park.
Have more in you? Head back to campus to catch the light rail from UNCC Main Station back into Uptown. From there, connect to the Skyline Trail or the Award-Winning Trail.
Bonus: Adventurers can check out this campus walking tour map if they want to spend even more time on campus.
Neighborhoods to Note
Know what's ahead: First Ward, Optimist Park, NoDa, University City
Home to Earle Village publicly owned housing until 1993 redevelopment, this neighborhood is now known for contemporary housing, First Ward Park, UNCC’s center city building, Levine Museum of the New South, Spectrum Center for concerts and Charlotte Hornets NBA games, and Belk Theater for performing arts.Back to Trails
Now the exciting location for apartment buildings and the redeveloped Optimist Hall, a food hall and retail spot, Optimist Park once held textile mill housing.Learn More
Named for its location along North Davidson Street, this neighborhood has transitioned from mill village, to punk rock hotspot, to hip and artsy destination. Its main streets hold breweries, culinary delights, bars, the Neighborhood Theatre, tattoo parlors and quirky shops.Learn More
This rapidly growing metropolitan area is anchored by UNCC and contains a network of culturally diverse neighborhoods, shopping options and dining.Learn More