Charlotte leadership hasn’t been shy about sharing their commitment to becoming a city known for its trees and urban forests. In fact, by 2050 the city wants to have 50% canopy. To reach this lofty goal, the city aims to increase tree acreage by 5% each year and has a TreesCharlotte nonprofit helping lead the charge. All this means Charlotte has tons of Instagrammable forests within city limits and on its outskirts.
At the entrance of Charlotte’s main library, this park has tons of mature trees despite its small size. This Uptown park is known for its decorative fountain and convenient location.
Arequipa Park, 310 N Tryon Street, Charlotte, NC, USA +1 704 416 0101
Evergreen Nature Preserve
This 77-acre preserve gives birdwatchers plenty of opportunities to see a diversity of birds that flock to its floodplain status. Charlotte urbanites appreciate its proximity to the city and the opportunities it provides for catching wildlife in action, especially during the migratory season.
Latta Plantation Nature Preserve
This huge area has way more than just trees as lots of people come here to visit the Carolina Raptor Center. But beyond the birds, the Latta Plantation has tons of trees to photograph across its nearly 1,500 acres. Be ready to encounter lots of pretty flowers and other wildlife, too.
McDowell Nature Preserve
Want to really get away from the urban life? This preserve encompasses more than 1,000 acres of land. And beyond just trees to admire, this area has a campground, hiking trails and access to fishing.
McDowell Nature Center, 15222 York Rd, Charlotte, NC, USA +1 980 314 2267
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Reedy Creek Park and Nature Center
As you hike through 10 trails, you’ll find plenty of photo-worthy stops, and this nearly 1,000-acre spot makes for some great pics. Beyond just trees, budding photographers can also get shots with waterways, and ride bikes through the grounds to cover more distance.
RibbonWalk Nature Preserve
A piece of Charlotte’s history lives here, with trees dating back 200 years. Three miles of easy trail wind through the 188 acres of this natural oasis, and it sits only six miles from downtown.
RibbonWalk Nature Preserve, 4601 Nevin Rd, Charlotte, NC, USA +1 980 314 1000
Crowders Mountain State Park
North Carolina is divided into three parts – the mountains, the coast and the Piedmont. To gain 25-mile views of the Charlotte area, head to Crowders Mountain State Park and its 11 trails. During your hike, you’ll find a variety of trees to snap, such as Virginia pine, American chestnut and red maple.
U.S. National Whitewater Center
When you go to the best zip-lining place near Charlotte, epic photos are a guarantee, and the U.S. National Whitewater Center has the best zip-lining close to Charlotte. Even if you don’t soar through the trees, the center has tons of hiking trails and photo-worthy places to hang out.
Dubbed Charlotte’s “Central Park,” Freedom Park’s downtown location and nearly 100 acres make for a green space that’s easy to catch the changing leaves year-round.
Freedom Park, 1900 East Boulevard, Charlotte, NC, USA +1 980 314 1002