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McDowell Nature Center and Preserve

Certificate of Excellence
Features Animals
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Address: 15222 York Rd, Charlotte, NC 28278-5827
Phone Number:
+1 704-583-1284

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 124 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 75
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    Very good
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Hiking Close to Charlotte

If you want to take a hike that is within the city limits of Charlotte, McDowell is worth a visit. The trails aren't very challenging, but there is enough terrain variation to... read more

Reviewed 14 March 2017
Robert R
Charlotte, North Carolina
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124 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 120: English reviews
Charlotte, North Carolina
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 March 2017

If you want to take a hike that is within the city limits of Charlotte, McDowell is worth a visit. The trails aren't very challenging, but there is enough terrain variation to keep you interested.

Thank Robert R
Charlotte, North Carolina, United States
Level Contributor
49 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 February 2017 via mobile

We love it here! We live close but and the local kids come here all the time! Great nature center where you can even have a birthday party. Trails for small hikes and of course Lake Wylie! They even have a little gift store in the Nature Center! They have snakes too!

Thank KathyJ461
Charlotte, North Carolina
Level Contributor
69 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 December 2016

This place is wonderful. The trails are great, not too strenuous. My three year old loved playing in the creek and looking for creatures. (we saw a few). The kayak launch was under construction, but we didn't have our kayak so it was fine. The playground was pretty great too.

1 Thank catelynbf
Level Contributor
27 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 November 2016 via mobile

I went there with my husband and my dog and we took one of the trails but the park has several as well as picnic areas and restrooms. Great to spend a day in the nature but near the city.

Thank DinaGattai
Level Contributor
40 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 October 2016

Visited with a couple toddlers and 6 year old and 3 dogs.. Great, fun trail. The Nature Center had a list of items to see on our walk for the 6 year old and that was great fun helping her find all of the items. Nice little creek, moderate trail and it wore the kids and dogs out! (they are... More 

1 Thank Ashley M
Clemson, South Carolina
Level Contributor
285 reviews
143 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 141 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 September 2016

For a park run by Charlotte (or maybe the surrounding county), this is very nice--up there with state parks. The indoor facilities weren't open when we got there, so we took a nice stroll on one of many trails. And there is some elevation, so be aware of that. But by the time we got back, the nature center was... More 

Thank SCDad
Miami, Florida
Level Contributor
33 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 August 2016

Took a couple of hours walking around guided walk ways and spending time with nature. One hike lead to the shore of Lake Wylie. The rangers at the visitor center were very helpful. Good for families as they have educational activities.

1 Thank A4JF
Level Contributor
88 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 August 2016 via mobile

The park offers free admission to the nature center. There was a few local wildlife animals on display. The kids, a few years ago, signed out one of their nature backpacking kits and went down to the nearby stream. Here, they were able to catch a few salamanders (catch and release). We have walked on the trails through the woods... More 

1 Thank Jennifer J
Usa, Japan
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 26 July 2016

The staff of the Nature Centre are wonderful. There are self-guided scavenger hunts that kids can do. Once completed, they will earn themselves a little prize. There are picnic tables and grills. Great view of Lake Wylie. Overall, it's a very nice place to visit. We come here often.

Thank Monica P
Charlotte, North Carolina, United States
Level Contributor
69 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 July 2016 via mobile

McDowell Park is located just south of Charlotte within view of SC. The campground is neat and tidy offering full hook-up to primitive camping. Fire rings and picnic tables are included with most RV sites. Ice and firewood are sold at the office for a reasonable price. Mecklenburg county residents get a nice discount. Walking trails abound but mind the... More 

2 Thank John E

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  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?