If you’re willing to drive just a little bit to the west, to Belmont, you’ll find a beautiful hike with varied terrain, including mature hardwood forests, open fields, and scenic view of Lake Wylie.
Seven Oaks Preserve Trail is part of Carolina Thread Trail, which connects 15 counties in North and South Carolina. Seven Oaks Preserve Trail connects with walking trails that are part of Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens.
The full loop along Seven Oaks Preserve Trail and Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden, plus the hike to and from the parking lot at the trailhead is about 5 miles long. If you skip the part at Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens, and walk the full length of Seven Oaks Preserve Trail, and then turn around to return to the trailhead parking lot, you’ll have walked about 5.2 miles. Turn around at any time for a shorter walk.
The trail is classified as “moderate.” There are some elevation changes, but they aren’t too hard. You’ll want to watch out for roots and rocks as you walk. Trail runners like the westernmost stretch of Seven Oaks Preserve Trail, along the water.
The trails are a natural surface, and there are also some footbridges along the way. The trails can get muddy and slippery in spots.
It’s good for all ages. Dogs on leashes are allowed. Bikes are allowed on Seven Oaks Preserve Trail, but not on Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden’s trails. Most of the trails are not well suited for wheelchairs or strollers.
You do not need to pay admission to Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden to walk the trails. (Although a visit to the Garden would be a great addition to your adventure!) The Garden’s trails go through the woods, not the gardens themselves.
It’s not hard to follow the trails, but we’re showing some pictures from along the way to help! Also, the AllTrails app is very helpful (although it seems that you now need the paid version to get the maps.)
Parking for the trailhead is near 6900 South New Hope Road, Belmont. If you’re coming from Charlotte and you get to the South Carolina sign you have gone just a little too far. Alternately, you can park at Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden, 6500 South New Hope Road, Belmont. There are about 10 parking spots at the trailhead, and a multitude of spots at DSBG. Parking is free. There are no restrooms at the trailhead. The restrooms at DSBG are for garden visitors.
On your way back, why not visit downtown Belmont? You’ll find Nellie’s Southern Kitchen, Mugshots Coffee and Tea, Primal Brewery, Cherubs Cafe, Floyd & Blackie’s Coffeehouse and Ice Cream, and more.Our library of hikes
The trail will take you through the forest and along the shores of Lake Wylie.
When you get to this sign, you need to make a decision. Go to the right to walk Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden’s trails, or go to the left to continue on Seven Oaks Preserve Trail, along the shores of Lake Wylie. If you take the DSBG trails, you’ll cover the rest of Seven Oaks’ trails on the way back, so you won’t miss anything.
There’s a point where it’s not entirely clear which way to go to get to Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens. Walk between the two green flags!
You’ll end up at the parking lot of the Gardens. Walk along the edge of the parking lot (a big field will be on your right) and you’ll soon see the Carolina Thread Trail signs, which tell you you’re going the right way.
Follow the sign for the Growing Center to get onto the trail in the woods.
When you see the Carolina Thread Trail sign turn right into the woods.
The rest of the walk is pretty clearly marked, and you should have no problem working your way back to the Seven Oaks Preserve Trails, and, eventually, back to the Trailhead parking lot.
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