From the parking lot, a paved trail takes you to an open area where picnic tables are set and also another gate. Walking around the second gate starts the gravel trail that leads to water and a tiny path that resembled the yellow brick road from the Wizard of Oz. We did not spend much time on this trail at all. In fact, it was pretty much just a photo spot for the walkway. The water was pretty stagnant and we saw one lonely picnic table.
A sign points in the direction of the individual trails but once you’re on the trail you should definitely remember which color marker you chose or you’ll get turned around.
We started out on the Beachwalk Trail and I guess we missed a marker and ended up on another. Losing your way on a trail is never a good thing but in this particular case, we ended up on the other side of our original path (go figure). We turned around near a small stream and decided to backtrack and ended up on the Hardwood Trail near the Wetland Bog. We have started using less and less technology when on these trails just to get the boys used to traditional ways of way-marking and trail walking and also to be prepared if one or both of our phone batteries die. We have them take notes of unique markings on trees or landmarks that they can remember in case they end up separated from us. They also carry a compass and a whistle as well as a notebook that they keep in their trail bags to take notes.
The wetland bog was slightly flooded. This portion of the trail was pretty dense, even starting out.
Along the trail, the boys read markers about the history of the land that we were walking on as well as the various hardwoods that make up the forest. Through the woods, ruins of an old structure could be seen. We tried to get photos of it but the brush was too thick plus it looked like a snake haven. As we continued to walk, the forest was more dense and winds quite a bit.
The trails were quiet and it’s definitely easy to forget that you’re close to Uptown Charlotte. We didn’t cover anywhere close to the three miles of trail that are reported to cover the preserve. There are a few trails that we didn’t get to and might revisit in the future.
- paver trail leading to Irwin Creek (we called it the wizard of oz trail)
- Wetland Bog with lots to see and birds to watch
- Informational plaques along the trails
- read the map carefully,
- take the time to read and learn about the trails that we’re on whenever there are plaques to read.
- bring extra bug spray (we ran low for the first time)
- remember landmarks and any other unique markings along the trail in case you get lost or turned around (without a gps or map)