Taking a look at the springtime advantages of Reedy Creek’s nature preserve and park

Owned and maintained by the Mecklenburg County, Reedy Creek offers activities like walking trails, a disc golf course and a nature center for children and adults alike to enjoy a sunny spring day

| April 22, 2015
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Photo by seth Kingdon

 

The satisfying sensation of the first warm breeze of the season announces one thing: spring has sprung. The blooming flowers and peeping leaves call to adventurers to wander out from stuffy homes and musty bedrooms.

Some of these warm-weather outdoor seekers assemble at Reedy Creek Nature Preserve and Park to soak up the climate.

Two main sections make up Reedy Creek: the Nature Preserve, owned and maintained by the Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Department, and the park.

Corey Sperling has worked with Reedy Creek Preserve over three years. “We do a wide variety of public programs, anywhere from preschoolers all the way to adults,” he said. “We lead trips into the mountains, any kind of nature program you can think of, [do] recycled crafts and [hold] live animals. [We just] raise awareness of the environment and get people out doors.”

The 737-acre property is located off of west W.T. Harris Boulevard, about 15 minutes from the UNC Charlotte area. Nature adventurers should not be surprised to see wildlife, specifically one of the 109 species of birds in that area.

According to the Mecklenburg County North Carolina government website, hikers or runners can travel on 10 miles worth of trails. Visitors of the park are additionally allowed to bring pets with them. Dogs are allowed on trials and throughout the park only if they are on a leash that is at least six feet long.

The Nature Center, located in the rear of the park, has a varitey of entertainment options for children to experience.

They can explore perched turtles, slithering snakes and lazy lizards in aquariums located at the nature preserve.

The indoor laboratory where the animals are located allows children to safely touch and see animals up-close and personal.

A playground occupies young children as they explore the outdoors.

Aside from the Nature Preserve, the 146-acre park allows visitors to take advantage of many different interests on any given Saturday, Sunday or weekday for that matter.

For dog owners, this is the place to be. A unique amenity to most parks around Charlotte, Reedy Creek has a large fenced-in area, big enough for roughly 50 adventurous dogs to sniff around and play with other K-9s.

Apartments or neighborhood residents may not be able to let their dogs out to exercise on a regular basis, which is Taylor Beam’s reason for a visit.

It takes her about 20 minutes to drive to Reedy Creek, but she likes the area for her dog, Amos.

“Now that the weather is nice, I try to bring him up at least once during the weekend every week because it gets his energy out and people are good here about their dogs” she says. “We come here about once a week I would say, especially when the weather is nice.”

Sport enthusiasts particularly enjoy the park because of the 18-hole disk golf course, one of four courses in the surrounding region.

Established in 1991, this disc course is the oldest in this area.

The Charlotte Disc Golf Club recently held a tournament and another upcoming event titled “Carolina Clash” is planned for late April.

The event is directed by Bill Jacobson, and  currently has 31 individuals registered from throughout the contry. Registration fees range from $40 to $60, dependning on tier of competition.

The competition will consist of three rounds of disc golf.

Besides the dog park, there are two main ponds: Kingfisher Pond and Dragonfly Pond.

Fishermen typically catch small bass at these catch-and-release bodies of water. They like this location because it is quiet and serene.

The woods, especially in the summer, stifles sound very well, making for a relaxing afternoon.

A weekend visitor will likely share the large grassy area with families who have children.

Valencia Brown, her husband and their four young children visited the park for the first time recently on a warm afternoon.

Brown likes the park, but she thinks more could be added to the play area.

“The playground is a little small, not what I expected … I think the park could be better if they had some old school attractions like a merry-go-round and see-saw… Overall it’s a nice park. I like the scenery, I like the trees; the woods-type feeling, so it’s definitely a good park.”

A visitor can best take advantage of the woodsy feel of Reedy Creek by walking on a short trail around Dragonfly Pond.

It’s only a short jaunt, but well worth the adventure. Depending on the direction of travel, an incline may add a form of excersise to your stroll.

For visitors wanting either a vigorous exercise or a casual stroll through scenic views, this trail will do the trick.

Visitors may also take advantage of the park by utilizing its facility rentals. Picnic shelters may be rented for birthday parties or family gatherings, and campsites are available for rent through Reedy Creek’s online webpage.

On top of all these amenities, there is also a soccer field, two softball fields, a cricket field, two horseshoe pits, four volleyball courts, nine outdoor picnic areas, an indoor picnic shelter, two play grounds, a community garden, a lakeside meadow and a short fishing pier.

Whether you want to walk trails, fish or simply read a book in a strapped-up ENO hammock near the lake, Reedy Creek Park can satisfy your outdoor desires.

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