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Reedy Creek Nature Center

Updated on July 23, 2014

The Nature Center at Reedy Creek Park

At the front of the Nature Center. Be sure to include this in your visit. There are many displays of the local wildlife and also a gift shop, public restrooms, and trail maps.
At the front of the Nature Center. Be sure to include this in your visit. There are many displays of the local wildlife and also a gift shop, public restrooms, and trail maps. | Source

Introduction

This Park has two different names: Reedy Creek Park and Reedy Creek Nature Preserve. This park is one of my favorite places to go hiking. It is nearby my house (about 45 minute drive) and while hiking on these lovely trails you get the feeling you are not in the city. I would highly recommend wearing hiking boots on these trails because of all the tree roots and muddy spots you need to cross.

Reedy Creek Park is located on 116 acres and offers picnic shelters and grills, two playgrounds, 18-hole disc golf course, a fishing pier, off-leash dog park, and athletic fields and courts. Admission is free to both the park and the nature preserve.

Reedy Creek Nature Preserve is located on 727 of natural, forested acres. It has a Nature Center with an exhibit hall and gift shop. The Nature Center offers a bird viewing area, live animals and a backyard habitat garden with an outdoor composting area. It has mixed pine and hardwood, open fields, lakes and streams. It offers over 10 miles of hiking trails that offer a variety of terrains and scenic views of small lakes, forests, fields, streams, wildlife, and is also home to the historical Robinson Rockhouse ruins.

Map of the Location for Reedy Creek Nature Park in Charlotte, NC

Dragonfly Pond

Fishing is allowed at this pond. In the summer you can see turtles sunbathing on the rocks.
Fishing is allowed at this pond. In the summer you can see turtles sunbathing on the rocks. | Source

Fishing

Visitors can check out a rod and reel for the day, free of charge, from the Nature Center. Fishing is allowed at the Dragonfly and Kingfisher Ponds. Ages 16 and up are required to have a valid North Carolina fishing license. Equipment must be returned in good condition. Fishing licenses and bait to be used are not sold at the park.

Entrance to one of the picnic shelters

Behind the Nature Center is an entrance to one of the many picnic shelters available to enjoy. What a lovely sunny day it is in this photo!
Behind the Nature Center is an entrance to one of the many picnic shelters available to enjoy. What a lovely sunny day it is in this photo! | Source

Hiking Trails

Sassafras Trail is a 0.6 mile loop trail that is rated easy. It begins behind the Park’s picnic shelter areas and passes through shady, upland hardwood trees of oak and hickory and runs into the Sierra Loop Trail. Dragonfly Pond can be accessed from this trail through a short connector.

Sierra Loop Trail is a 1.5 mile loop trail that is rated Moderate because of a few uphill and downhill sections. It begins and ends with the Sassafras Trail. This trail was constructed by volunteers from the Central Piedmont chapter of the Sierra Club.

Robinson Rockhouse Trail is a 0.5 mile loop trail and Is rated Moderate. It is accessed from the Sierra Loop Trail. This site was excavated the UNC Charlotte Campus archeologists. The Rockhouse is believed to have been built in 1790. An exhibit of the dig is located in the Nature Center. The ruins are on the National Registry of Historic Places.

South Fork Trail is a 0.25 mile trail rated Moderate with a few uphill and downhill sections. It begins at the Umbrella Tree Trail and ends at the Sierra Loop Trail. This trail passes through rich woodland areas and crosses one creek. Bird watchers and botany enthusiasts will find this trail especially interesting.

Big Oak Trail is 1.0 mile and rated Easy. This trail parallels Plaza Road Extension at the southern end of the Nature Preserve before connecting back to the Umbrella Tree Trail.

Umbrella Tree Trail is a 1.0 mile trail and is rated Moderate with some uphill and downhill sections. This trail passes through some of the most significant areas of the Nature Preserve. Hikers have the opportunity to walk through the mature hardwood forest that contains rich flora and fauna. Large boulders dot the scenery along the trail.

Dragonfly Pond Trail is a 1.0 mile gravel loop trail and is rated Moderate with some uphill and downhill sections. It begins and ends at the Nature Center parking lot. It passes through hardwood forests and follows the shoreline of Dragonfly Pond. Hikers can enjoy wildflowers and see some aquatic wildlife such as mallard ducks, turtles sunbathing on rocks and plenty of dragonflies!

Sights of some of the trails at Reedy Creek Nature Preserve.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Reedy Creek Nature Preserve You are now entering the Sassafras Trail Reedy Creek Nature Preserve Sassafras Trail You are now entering the Sierra Loop TrailReedy Creek Nature Preserve Sierra Loop TrailReedy Creek Nature Preserve Sierra Loop TrailReedy Creek Nature Preserve Sierra Loop TrailReedy Creek Nature Preserve Sierra Loop Trail. One of several bridges you will cross in this park.Reedy Creek Nature Preserve Sierra Loop TrailReedy Creek Nature Preserve Sierra Loop TrailReedy Creek Nature Preserve Sierra Loop TrailReedy Creek Nature Preserve Sierra Loop TrailYou are now entering on the Robinson Rockhouse TrailThe Robinson Rockhouse Trail Reedy Creek Nature PreserveThe Robinson Rockhouse Trail Reedy Creek Nature PreserveThe Robinson Rockhouse Trail Reedy Creek Nature PreserveThe Robinson Rockhouse Trail Reedy Creek Nature PreserveThe Robinson Rockhouse Trail Reedy Creek Nature PreserveThe Robinson Rockhouse Trail Reedy Creek Nature PreserveThe Robinson Rockhouse Trail Reedy Creek Nature PreserveThe Robinson Rockhouse Trail Reedy Creek Nature Preserve I am not sure what these are but they looked like small cotton balls with legs and they were rapidly moving back and forth.The Robinson Rockhouse Trail Reedy Creek Nature PreserveReedy Creek Nature Preserve. You are now entering the South Fork Trail.Reedy Creek Nature Preserve South Fork TrailReedy Creek Nature Preserve South Fork TrailReedy Creek Nature Preserve South Fork TrailReedy Creek Nature Preserve South Fork TrailReedy Creek Nature Preserve South Fork TrailReedy Creek Nature Preserve South Fork TrailReedy Creek Nature Preserve. You are now entering the Big Oak Trail.Reedy Creek Nature Preserve. Big Oak Trail.Reedy Creek Nature Preserve. Big Oak Trail.Reedy Creek Nature Preserve. Big Oak Trail.Reedy Creek Nature Preserve. Big Oak Trail.Reedy Creek Nature Preserve. Big Oak Trail.Reedy Creek Nature Preserve. Big Oak Trail.Reedy Creek Nature Preserve. Big Oak Trail.Reedy Creek Nature Preserve. Big Oak Trail.Reedy Creek Nature Preserve. Big Oak Trail.Reedy Creek Nature Preserve. Big Oak Trail.Reedy Creek Nature Preserve. Unknown Trail that just opened. This log has unique fungi growing on it.
Reedy Creek Nature Preserve You are now entering the Sassafras Trail
Reedy Creek Nature Preserve You are now entering the Sassafras Trail | Source
Reedy Creek Nature Preserve Sassafras Trail
Reedy Creek Nature Preserve Sassafras Trail | Source
You are now entering the Sierra Loop Trail
You are now entering the Sierra Loop Trail | Source
Reedy Creek Nature Preserve Sierra Loop Trail
Reedy Creek Nature Preserve Sierra Loop Trail | Source
Reedy Creek Nature Preserve Sierra Loop Trail
Reedy Creek Nature Preserve Sierra Loop Trail | Source
Reedy Creek Nature Preserve Sierra Loop Trail
Reedy Creek Nature Preserve Sierra Loop Trail | Source
Reedy Creek Nature Preserve Sierra Loop Trail. One of several bridges you will cross in this park.
Reedy Creek Nature Preserve Sierra Loop Trail. One of several bridges you will cross in this park. | Source
Reedy Creek Nature Preserve Sierra Loop Trail
Reedy Creek Nature Preserve Sierra Loop Trail | Source
Reedy Creek Nature Preserve Sierra Loop Trail
Reedy Creek Nature Preserve Sierra Loop Trail | Source
Reedy Creek Nature Preserve Sierra Loop Trail
Reedy Creek Nature Preserve Sierra Loop Trail | Source
Reedy Creek Nature Preserve Sierra Loop Trail
Reedy Creek Nature Preserve Sierra Loop Trail | Source
You are now entering on the Robinson Rockhouse Trail
You are now entering on the Robinson Rockhouse Trail | Source
The Robinson Rockhouse Trail Reedy Creek Nature Preserve
The Robinson Rockhouse Trail Reedy Creek Nature Preserve | Source
The Robinson Rockhouse Trail Reedy Creek Nature Preserve
The Robinson Rockhouse Trail Reedy Creek Nature Preserve | Source
The Robinson Rockhouse Trail Reedy Creek Nature Preserve
The Robinson Rockhouse Trail Reedy Creek Nature Preserve | Source
The Robinson Rockhouse Trail Reedy Creek Nature Preserve
The Robinson Rockhouse Trail Reedy Creek Nature Preserve | Source
The Robinson Rockhouse Trail Reedy Creek Nature Preserve
The Robinson Rockhouse Trail Reedy Creek Nature Preserve | Source
The Robinson Rockhouse Trail Reedy Creek Nature Preserve
The Robinson Rockhouse Trail Reedy Creek Nature Preserve | Source
The Robinson Rockhouse Trail Reedy Creek Nature Preserve
The Robinson Rockhouse Trail Reedy Creek Nature Preserve | Source
The Robinson Rockhouse Trail Reedy Creek Nature Preserve I am not sure what these are but they looked like small cotton balls with legs and they were rapidly moving back and forth.
The Robinson Rockhouse Trail Reedy Creek Nature Preserve I am not sure what these are but they looked like small cotton balls with legs and they were rapidly moving back and forth. | Source
The Robinson Rockhouse Trail Reedy Creek Nature Preserve
The Robinson Rockhouse Trail Reedy Creek Nature Preserve | Source
Reedy Creek Nature Preserve. You are now entering the South Fork Trail.
Reedy Creek Nature Preserve. You are now entering the South Fork Trail. | Source
Reedy Creek Nature Preserve South Fork Trail
Reedy Creek Nature Preserve South Fork Trail | Source
Reedy Creek Nature Preserve South Fork Trail
Reedy Creek Nature Preserve South Fork Trail | Source
Reedy Creek Nature Preserve South Fork Trail
Reedy Creek Nature Preserve South Fork Trail | Source
Reedy Creek Nature Preserve South Fork Trail
Reedy Creek Nature Preserve South Fork Trail | Source
Reedy Creek Nature Preserve South Fork Trail
Reedy Creek Nature Preserve South Fork Trail | Source
Reedy Creek Nature Preserve South Fork Trail
Reedy Creek Nature Preserve South Fork Trail | Source
Reedy Creek Nature Preserve. You are now entering the Big Oak Trail.
Reedy Creek Nature Preserve. You are now entering the Big Oak Trail. | Source
Reedy Creek Nature Preserve. Big Oak Trail.
Reedy Creek Nature Preserve. Big Oak Trail. | Source
Reedy Creek Nature Preserve. Big Oak Trail.
Reedy Creek Nature Preserve. Big Oak Trail. | Source
Reedy Creek Nature Preserve. Big Oak Trail.
Reedy Creek Nature Preserve. Big Oak Trail. | Source
Reedy Creek Nature Preserve. Big Oak Trail.
Reedy Creek Nature Preserve. Big Oak Trail. | Source
Reedy Creek Nature Preserve. Big Oak Trail.
Reedy Creek Nature Preserve. Big Oak Trail. | Source
Reedy Creek Nature Preserve. Big Oak Trail.
Reedy Creek Nature Preserve. Big Oak Trail. | Source
Reedy Creek Nature Preserve. Big Oak Trail.
Reedy Creek Nature Preserve. Big Oak Trail. | Source
Reedy Creek Nature Preserve. Big Oak Trail.
Reedy Creek Nature Preserve. Big Oak Trail. | Source
Reedy Creek Nature Preserve. Big Oak Trail.
Reedy Creek Nature Preserve. Big Oak Trail. | Source
Reedy Creek Nature Preserve. Big Oak Trail.
Reedy Creek Nature Preserve. Big Oak Trail. | Source
Reedy Creek Nature Preserve. Unknown Trail that just opened. This log has unique fungi growing on it.
Reedy Creek Nature Preserve. Unknown Trail that just opened. This log has unique fungi growing on it. | Source

Scenes of the Robinson Rockhouse Ruins

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Remains of the original 1790s Robinson Rockhouse, a historic site located within Reedy Creek Nature PreserveRemains of the original 1790s Robinson Rockhouse, a historic site located within Reedy Creek Nature PreserveRemains of the original 1790s Robinson Rockhouse, a historic site located within Reedy Creek Nature PreserveRemains of the original 1790s Robinson Rockhouse, a historic site located within Reedy Creek Nature PreserveRemains of the original 1790s Robinson Rockhouse, a historic site located within Reedy Creek Nature PreserveRemains of the original 1790s Robinson Rockhouse, a historic site located within Reedy Creek Nature PreserveRemains of the original 1790s Robinson Rockhouse, a historic site located within Reedy Creek Nature PreserveRemains of the original 1790s Robinson Rockhouse, a historic site located within Reedy Creek Nature Preserve
Remains of the original 1790s Robinson Rockhouse, a historic site located within Reedy Creek Nature Preserve
Remains of the original 1790s Robinson Rockhouse, a historic site located within Reedy Creek Nature Preserve | Source
Remains of the original 1790s Robinson Rockhouse, a historic site located within Reedy Creek Nature Preserve
Remains of the original 1790s Robinson Rockhouse, a historic site located within Reedy Creek Nature Preserve | Source
Remains of the original 1790s Robinson Rockhouse, a historic site located within Reedy Creek Nature Preserve
Remains of the original 1790s Robinson Rockhouse, a historic site located within Reedy Creek Nature Preserve | Source
Remains of the original 1790s Robinson Rockhouse, a historic site located within Reedy Creek Nature Preserve
Remains of the original 1790s Robinson Rockhouse, a historic site located within Reedy Creek Nature Preserve | Source
Remains of the original 1790s Robinson Rockhouse, a historic site located within Reedy Creek Nature Preserve
Remains of the original 1790s Robinson Rockhouse, a historic site located within Reedy Creek Nature Preserve | Source
Remains of the original 1790s Robinson Rockhouse, a historic site located within Reedy Creek Nature Preserve
Remains of the original 1790s Robinson Rockhouse, a historic site located within Reedy Creek Nature Preserve | Source
Remains of the original 1790s Robinson Rockhouse, a historic site located within Reedy Creek Nature Preserve
Remains of the original 1790s Robinson Rockhouse, a historic site located within Reedy Creek Nature Preserve | Source
Remains of the original 1790s Robinson Rockhouse, a historic site located within Reedy Creek Nature Preserve
Remains of the original 1790s Robinson Rockhouse, a historic site located within Reedy Creek Nature Preserve | Source

The Robinson Rockhouse Ruins

Stones from the local terrain were used to build Robert Robinson and his family a house of stone sometime between 1775 and 1800. Back in early Charlottean history you had to have land and wealth to build a house of stone rather and wood. Included in the house were large stone steps to the main entry, two large living areas with fireplaces on the first and second floors, and a third floor attic.

One local occupation at that time was blacksmithing, which is the job of making metal fillings and shoes for horses. Evidence of a small blacksmith shop is located on the property from which several metal pieces and fittings were found. Its remote location was protection against vandals and souvenir seekers, but not against the forces of nature since storms and falling trees have caused major damage on the structure.

A huge Elm tree fell a long time ago and caused major damage to the exterior walls and all of the original wood, roof, and floor structures. This decaying hunk of tree still lies next to the house to this day. So much damage was done by this tree that there is little evidence to tell of the roof, side wall, or chimney forms. Now only a lone section of original masonry rises higher than a few feet above piles of stone rubble. The remaining stone wall panels show the extraordinary skill of the masons who built the house.

Fun Facts About North Carolina Wildlife

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Here are flags that line the entrance to the Nature Center with some fun and interesting wildlife facts!
Here are flags that line the entrance to the Nature Center with some fun and interesting wildlife facts!
Here are flags that line the entrance to the Nature Center with some fun and interesting wildlife facts! | Source

Reservations

Reservations for the Picnic shelters can be made by calling 311 or (704) 336-7600 Monday thru Friday from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Several picnic shelters are fully accessible. If you wish to reserve an athletic field, you can contact the Northeast Park District Athletic Coordinator at (704) 336-8485. If you need to book a really large athletic event, or a school or university event, contact (704) 336-8866.

Biking

Bicycle and motor vehicle use in the Nature Preserve is only allowed on paved parking surfaces. This is to prevent trail erosion and limit disturbances to wildlife and sensitive habitats. However, the county has many paved Greenway trails (link) that are perfect for biking. Mountain bike trails can be found at the following locations:

  • Jetton Park on Lake Norman
  • Ramsey Creek Park
  • Renaissance Park
  • Colonel Francis Beatty Park
  • North Meck Park
  • US National White Water Center

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Rules at the Nature Preserve

  • Hiking trails are only for pedestrians
  • For your safety, walk with a friend(s) and stay on designated trails
  • Bicycle and motorized vehicles are only allowed on paved roads
  • Collection, removal, or disturbance of any natural or cultural object is prohibited
  • Alcoholic beverages are prohibited (except with a valid shelter reservation and permit)
  • Pets must be on a leash no longer than 6 feet
  • No swimming or wading is allowed
  • Introduction of plants or animals to the Preserve is prohibited
  • Children under 16 are required to wear a helmet while riding bicycles, skateboards, or rollerblades.
  • No weapons or firearms are allowed.

© 2013 Efficient Admin

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    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      We have one near our home and Bev and I visit it often. Love nature centers and society needs more of them. Thanks for the tour.

    • Efficient Admin profile image
      Author

      Efficient Admin 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

      billybuc - they are a great place to visit and I love the woodsy smell of my clothes after a good hike. You live in a beautiful state as well. Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Great pictures. Beautiful trails. You're luck to live so close by. Thank you for sharing.

    • Mike Robbers profile image

      Mike Robbers 3 years ago from London

      Great hub. Loved these beautiful pictures!

    • Efficient Admin profile image
      Author

      Efficient Admin 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

      MsDora - yes this area has a lot of really great trails and greenways to enjoy. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

      Mike Robbers - glad you enjoyed them! Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

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