I've lived in Charlotte for three years, and moved here from St. Louis, Missouri. I absolutely love living Charlotte. There's so much to explore every single weekend, and you don't have to leave the state if you want to take a nice vacation or weekend get-away! (Total money saver on travel!)
I work a 'regular' job Monday - Friday at a cutting-edge technology company called Seedspark, and I love spending my weekends hiking and enjoying the beautiful outdoors of North Carolina. Because this is how I spend the majority of my weekends and hiking is one of my favorite things to do, I thought it'd be fitting to write my first blog about my favorite hiking spots in North Carolina! So without further ado, here they are!
1.) Dupont State Forest: confession, I have a waterfall obsession, which is why Dupont is number one on my list. You can take a .6 mile hike down to Hooker Falls or you can walk a little bit further and see a three tier waterfall called Triple Falls. It's approximately two hours from Charlotte, and I often take day trips there on Saturdays and Sundays. The views are spectacular, especially during the fall. The one downside, though, is that it's almost always busy. It makes finding that perfect photography spot a little chaotic. At sunset, right before the park closes, it empties out and you can take pretty photos of the waterfalls with the sun setting behind them. Hello pink reflections in the water!
2.) Anne Springs Close Greenway: ok, I'm cheating a bit here, because Anne Springs is located in Fort Mill, SC. However, it's only 25 minutes from Charlotte, and the drive is super easy! If you're looking for scenic, not-so-strenuous hikes with a lake view, horses, streams, greenery, architecture, like old Dairy Barns, this place is for you! I've been at least 6 times, and I still haven't seen all of Anne Springs, if that's any indication as to how large this place is! It's not a State Park, so there is a $5 parking fee. This is also an amazing place to take portrait pictures, but you will need to pay a $50 photography fee...or be inconspicuous about taking photos and try not to get caught! ;-)
3.) Pisgah National Forest: located in Brevard, NC, I highly recommend renting a cabin via VRBO or AirBnb and making a weekend out of Pisgah National Forest! There's entirely way too much beauty and hiking to do in just one day! There's over 500,000 acres of forest trails, gorgeous views, streams, waterfalls, and beautiful white pine trees! The hike is strenuous, so prepare yourself for a work-out. The last time I went, we hiked 9 miles, and had to take a few breaks during the hike. Do not forget to bring water, snacks, and of course, your camera for those breath-taking views at the top!
4.) Lake Norman State Park: an hour away from Charlotte, I don't visit here nearly as often as I'd like. There are 30.5 miles of peaceful trails outlining the entire lake, which make for pretty water views! There are also little sand dunes/coves where you can take a break and cool off by swimming in the water. These little sand dunes are why it's my favorite place to take my dog, Chloe. Cooling off and swimming in the water helps her to keep hiking longer than her little legs can normally handle. In addition to pretty hiking trails, there's a public beach where you can lay-out and swim. You can also mountain bike, fish, boat, camp and grill out with friends and family. PS: I took these photos when I first started taking pictures, and will update soon!
Comment below and share some of your favorite hiking spots in the Carolinas. To view more of my nature and hiking photos, you can check them out here!