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Address

Office Location:

5841 Brookshire Blvd Charlotte, NC 28216

Hours: Mon-Sat 9 a.m. to 5 p.m
Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m

Contact

Stephen Hutchinson
980-314-1054

McDowell Nature Center and Preserve​

Boat ramps at Copperhead Island are closed due to low water levels.  We will  re- open them once water levels rise to a safe level.

Thank you for your understanding. 


 

 
 
Features:
  • Nature Center
  • 1,107.6 acres
  • 56-Site Camp Ground
  • Copperhead Island - Fishing and Boating Access, Primitive Group Camping
  • 7 miles of hiking trails
  • Playgrounds
  • Picnic areas
  • Wildlife viewing opportunities

 

 Reservable Facilities:Kids Camping at McDowell
 
 McDowell Campground
 Copperhead Island (Shelter and  Primitive Group Camp)
 Red Fox Medium Shelter
 Large Pavilion
 Waterfront Deck
 

 


 

Trails
The preserve features 9 trails totaling nearly 7 miles. Download a full-color, pocket-sized TRAIL MAP.

  • Cedar Ridge – 0.5 miles (Moderate)
  • Four Seasons Trail – 0.4 miles (Easy, Paved Accessible)Sierra Trail – 0.3 miles (Easy)
  • Shady Hollow Trail – 0.6 miles (Moderate)
  • Cove Trail – 0.8 miles (Moderate)
  • Kingfisher – 0.9 miles (Moderate)
  • Pine hollow – 0.9 miles (Moderate)
  • Chestnut Trail – 1.2 miles (Moderate)
  • Creekside Trail – 1.2 miles (Moderate)
  • Sierra Trail - 0.3 miles (Easy)

 

* All trails are marked with color symbols. Mountain bikes are not permitted on preserve trails. Dogs are welcome, but must remain on a 6-foot or shorter leash at all times.
 
McDowell Nature Preserve preserves habitat for 119 species of birds, 21 species of mammals, 21 species of reptiles, and 14 species of amphibians.  Among the unusual species that have been found at the Preserve are: Seminole bat (first record in NC), spotted salamander, Gulf Coast spiny soft-shelled turtle, and Loggerhead Shrike. McDowell Nature Preserve is also well known for its diversity of spring ephemeral wild flowers and is among the best areas in Mecklenburg County to view Pileated Woodpecker. The Preserve protects a federally endangered plant (Schweinitz's sunflower), a federal candidate species (Georgia's aster), and one rare plant (prairie dock) at its two Piedmont Prairie restoration sites. For a complete list of documented species, download our vertebrate species checklist (137kB PDF) or contact us at 704-588-5224.
 

 


 

Copperhead Island
704-583-1284 (Information and Camping Reservations)
15200 Soldier Road
(Adjacent to the McDowell Nature Preserve)
Hours: 7 a.m. – sunset
 
Copperhead Island is operated and maintained by Park and Recreation in cooperation with Duke Power through a land lease agreement. It serves as the only public boat launch to Lake Wylie in Mecklenburg County. The site also offers bank and pier fishing, trails, and picnicking. Visitor may also reserve the picnic shelter for day-use or rent the entire "island" for overnight group camping. 
 
Get Directions 
 
Features: 
 25-acres
 4 boat launches
 Fishing piers
 Paved trails (hiking only)
 Picnic shelters
 2 Horseshoe pits
 Sand volleyball court
 6 Rent-A-Tent sites (group camping only)
 Primitive camping on the shores of Lake Wylie is also available.
 
Reservable Facilities: 
 

 

Address

Office Location:

5841 Brookshire Blvd Charlotte, NC 28216

Hours: Mon-Sat 9 a.m. to 5 p.m
Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m

Contact

Stephen Hutchinson
980-314-1054