Trail Ways: Behind Park Road Shopping Center, a new stretch of the Cross Charlotte Trail is ready for walkers, cyclists and anyone seeking fresh air.
by Sharon Smith | photographs by Ethan Martin
It’s a natural fit. The 1.54-mile segment of trail carved out along Little Sugar Creek Greenway from Brandywine to Tyvola roads is already a big attraction in its first weeks of being open.
Even on a 90-plus-degree day, somehow being near water framed by leafy green trees makes that hot, fresh air much more inviting, even enticing. Bridges, tunnels and a winding path give variety to the creekside view with grassy banks.
The project, a partnership between the City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, cost $26.5 million and includes two public art features by Laurel Holtzapple and Shaun Cassidy at Brandywine Plaza, behind the shopping center. Rivulet is a nod to nearby creeks with large winding threads of blue-painted steel. Sycamore is a textured concrete seating area inspired by the plentiful trees that grow in floodplains across the Southeast, including here.
This segment completes a continuous 18-mile stretch of the greenway between NoDa and the South Carolina state line. The new section is one of 11 that will comprise 30-plus miles of the Cross Charlotte Trail, also known as XCLT. Starting in Pineville, the trail threads north through Charlotte and eventually will end near the Cabarrus County line. About half the segments are complete.
It’s designed to connect existing trails and encourage people to get out there — commune with nature, and even commute. SP