Walking & Nature Trails in Union County

— Written By and last updated by Elisabeth Purser
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Walking and Nature Trails in North Carolina Near CharlotteWalking is low impact but can be moderate intensity if you move with a purpose. Grab your dog or borrow your neighbor’s dog and get outside on a quiet street or one of our nature trails. Cane Creek Park has multiple walking and hiking trails from easy to difficult, but all of them are beautiful. Mineral Springs Greenway is a moderate difficulty hiking trail 3 miles out and back that follows a creek. The Waxhaw segment of the Twelve Mile Creek Greenway is about 1.5 miles and includes a cool suspension bridge over the creek. Visit the Carolina Thread Trail website for more trails nearby. Carolina Thread Trail is a non-profit organization seeking to connect trails and greenways across 15 counties. 

Also consider walking around your local cemetery. While this may sound abnormal today, cemeteries were some of the first public green spaces Americans had access to and came around decades before the idea of public parks took off. Cemeteries were managed as beautiful gardens with trees and shrubs and flowers, and used for picnicking and family gatherings, both uses that are consistent with the idea of meditative thought and contemplation over our shared history. I commonly explore cemeteries while on vacation because it’s a great place to find large old trees. Last autumn I visited a cemetery in Louisville, Kentucky that is a five-star botanical garden with champion trees on site. 

Spending time in nature has been scientifically proven to increase endorphin levels and dopamine production, while reducing cortisol levels which is a stress hormone. If you spend your days at a desk in an office, you should consider walking on your lunch break. You will feel refreshed in the afternoon instead of cranky and tired. So get outside and walk around Union County.