We’ve been highlighting interesting hikes in and near Charlotte for a while. Each offers something different and special. Some hikes lead you to an impressive vista. Some go by ruins of historic buildings or structures. Some take you to an interesting rock formation or a waterfall.
The highlight of the walk on Twelve Mile Creek Greenway is the 170-foot suspension bridge between Waxhaw, NC and Lancaster County, SC.
The hike is part of Carolina Thread Trail. Carolina Thread Trail provides some details about the Town of Waxhaw segment of Twelve Mile Creek Greenway, as well as information about the part of Twelve Mile Creek Trail in Lancaster County.
The hike is very short and easy, and is suitable for kids. In fact, we overheard one child say “I walked all the way to South Carolina? But I’m not even tired!” Another child was guarding the bridge with a toy sword, so you can rest easy knowing that North Carolina is well protected.
Start at H.C. Nesbit Park, 1304 H.C. Nesbit Park Drive, Waxhaw, NC. You can park in the main parking lot as you enter, or in the gravel lot to the right of the roundabout. The walk from the park to the bridge is less than a mile.
The initial bit of the walk will be paved, and will take you to Millbridge Parkway. Cross the road and then enter the woods.
The next part of the walk is a natural surface, and is high above 12 Mile Creek. Although there’s little elevation change, it’s a bit rooty and rocky, so watch your step. Mountain biking is allowed, but I wouldn’t suggest it if you’re not an experienced mountain biker, because if you take a tumble it’s a very long way down. For that same reason, make sure that you keep kids close to you.
Along this section of the trail there are approximately twelve informational signs, each with a map and information about Waxhaw Parks, Trails and Facilities. On each sign there’s also information about birds, with pictures, part of the Eagle project of a local Boy Scout.
There are a number of wooden footbridges and boardwalks along this part of the trail. They provide a way to get up close to flora and fauna while keeping your feet dry. You’ll cross Twelve Mile Creek a couple times.
After about a half-mile or so from the Millbridge Parkway trailhead, you’ll get to the suspension bridge, the highlight of the hike. It’s a swinging bridge, so there’s definitely a little motion as you cross the bridge.
In case you missed it, the sign on the bridge tells you that you’re entering South Carolina.
After you cross the bridge, you’re in Lancaster County, South Carolina, and the trail continues for 3.5 miles, ending at Walnut Creek Park in Lancaster.