Twenty minutes outside of Charlotte, NC there is a land conservation project that totals over 16,000 acres. This is the stunning, sprawling Catawba Land Conservancy. So get out of your Charlotte apartment to see their area’s beauty.

Text by Annika Bastian

People biking on wooded road.

Easy Access

Catawba Lands Conservancy offers over 250 miles of trails for people in the Charlotte area, all free to hike. Their preserved areas, like the Little Sugar Creek Greenway, connect nature and city. They hold group biking events along this as well as other trails.

Monarch butterfly on lantana bush.

Catawba Lands Conservancy Events for All

The Conservancy manages the gorgeous South Fork Trail. Part of the Pharr Yarns Preserve, the Trail’s a butterfly highway. They offer a trail leader and first aid so this walk is great for newcomers.

Also, the Conservancy offers biking tours and hikes for people with more outdoor skills. Their Queen City Bike Tour offers an on-road tour through Charlotte for conservancy members.

Swamp with leafy trees.

Native Plants and Animals

Also open to the public is the Whitehall Nature Preserve. This shallow swamp is present in fall and winter but dries up in the summer. It’s also home to rare marbled and spotted salamanders.

Buffalo Creek Preserve, another Conservancy Holding, was going to be a subdivision. Instead, it’s now home to a working farm and a Piedmont Oak savannah. The savannah provides a special home for wildlife. In addition, Buffalo Creek Preserve’s forests filter the water. The Preserve also boasts two miles of trails.