Welcome to theCentral Carolinas - a region with over 106,000 acres of protected lands, rich in natural and cultural history. Throughout this growing metropolis, you will find unique natural treasures, from rare Piedmont Prairies and upland depression swamp forests, to oak-hickory woodlands and bottomland forests. These natural communities, along with the region's rivers, lakes, streams, and other wetlands, provide food, water and shelter for a variety of wildlife. A careful observer can find some 320 species of birds, 70 species of fish, 40 species of mammals, 80 species of amphibians and reptiles, a wide variety of aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates, and thousands of species of native plants.
The Central Carolinas Biodiversity Trail celebrates this diversity through a coordinated system of natural areas connected by their unique wildlife and natural communities. The Trail is modeled after watchable wildlife trails, birding trails, and heritage corridors in other states. It is not a physical path, but rather features properties owned by federal, state, local, and non-profit agencies in a 14-county region of the Carolinas. Sites along the trail are open to the public, allowing people to experience and discover these special places.
An initial 28-page, full-color guide has been developed that provides a regional locator map denoting the 14 counties and each site with a reference number. A page on each site includes a brief description, highlighting the size of the property, unique flora and fauna, best wildlife viewing opportunities, and any historical significance. More detailed site locator maps, directions from the nearest major highway, hours of operation, and contact information, as well as additional information such as the site's major natural communities, best seasons to visit, special features, and possible restrictions or limitations are included for each site. Symbols indicate services and amenities available. Copies of the guide can be obtained at each site, or by calling Reedy Creek Nature Center 704-598-8857.Click here to download a PDF (2.4mB) of the entire brochure.
The Biodiversity Trail is an extension of the Strategic Regional Open Space Framework for the Central Carolinas, and was developed to create awareness and support for the region's existing green assets and natural areas. Initiated by the Stewardship Advisory Council, a citizen's advisory group for Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Department, the Biodiversity Trail is a dynamic project that will grow through time and involve partners from throughout the region. For more information, contact Michael Kirschman, Director of Stewardship Services at 704-336-8798.