Let’s get real for a minute: taking your kids out for bike rides in the neighborhood will jangle your nerves like a toddler with your car keys. From teenagers speeding by to your neighbor’s precious flower bed looming onto the sidewalk, too many things could go wrong. The Little Sugar Creek Greenway is a great place for families to get out and enjoy Charlotte’s beautiful weather without getting run over or destroying petunias.
Part of the Carolina Thread Trail, the greenway has several sections, each with a different feel. A citywide favorite is the portion that extends from Brandwine Rd. to Morehead St. cutting through Freedom Park along the way. The paths are paved, wide and bordered by well tended landscaping offering plenty of room for families to walk, bike, run and stop along the way for picnics. If your little ones are still learning to bike, it’s a wonderfully safe place to practice. I recommend parking along the street near Brandywine and Westfield roads to avoid the crowds around Freedom Park.
If you don’t have little ones in tow, ride the whole greenway! It’s right around eight miles round trip with great dining options at Park Road Shopping Center on one end and Metropolitan on the other. Todd and I like to park at one end, ride out, stop for lunch and then ride back. Most recently, we started at Park Road Shopping Center and had lunch at Hickory Tavern. The turkey club and sweet potato fries there are slap-your-momma good. And we had a bonus adventure when we rode through Freedom Park to find the Charlotte Arborists Association’s annual tree climbing competition underway. We didn’t climb trees, but we talked to some delightful people and watched grown people acting like monkeys. Good times.
Finally, if you don’t have a bike, you can rent one from any of the Charlotte B-cycle stations along the greenway.