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Cornelius News

Take a hike: 3 fun outings on shared-use paths

McDowell Creek Greenway Phase II / Jason Benavides photo

Feb. 11. The Emerald Necklace, comprising 13 miles of greenway trails and shared use paths, is one step closer to completion. With the town of Cornelius wrapping up construction of the most recent 1.5 mile section from Magnolia Plaza to Westmoreland Road, the Emerald Necklace is now 77 percent  complete. See map here.

The interconnected loop greenway system traverses much of Cornelius and aims to connect people from where they live to where they shop, dine, congregate and recreate.

Planned future sections to complete the loop include 3.1 miles of shared use paths to close gaps between Magnolia Plaza and Antiquity to the north and Caldwell Station to Birkdale to the south.

Until you’re able to traverse the full loop and experience everything the Emerald Necklace has to offer, here are three ways to get out and enjoy the existing sections and some of the amenities along the way.

Carnitas tacos from Juan Loco / Photo @juanloconc

Lunch date

Begin your 3.1 mile trip at Birkdale and enter the greenway behind Which Wich. From there the paved path travels to the east of Birkdale, past a large retention pond that holds turtles and all kinds of species of birds.

The trail remains relatively flat and brings you to the west side of Robbins Park before leading to a hilly climb up to Westmoreland. Soon a brand new crosswalk with a stoplight will lead to the newest section of the McDowell Creek Greenway that features an industrial arched bridge and ends at Magnolia Plaza.

• Hit up Al’s Bar & Grille (Inferno burger), Jack’s Corner Tap (cheesesteak egg rolls) or Juan Loco (street tacos).

Red Dragon Roll from Cool Fish / Photo @coolfishlkn

Dinner and drinks

Park at Bailey Road Park and enter the greenway behind the playground near the bathrooms and begin the longest single stretch of trails in the Emerald Necklace.

The Plum Creek Greenway and South Prong Rocky River Greenway make up the most rural stretches of the Emerald Necklace, culminating with the Antiquity Greenway and a slight climb up the elevated walkway to the areas of Antiquity and downtown Cornelius.

• Grab a dinner at Cool Fish (Red Dragon Roll) or Crafty Burg’r (fried pickles) and end the day with a drink at Barley Market (LucidDreamz pale ale), OTPH (Paradise City IPA) or the brand new Thigs Cocktail Lounge (everything is good and ask them how they got their name).

Your brewery walk  final destination is D9 Brewery / Jason Benavides photo

Brewery walk

Visit Eleven Lakes Brewing, named after the number of lakes that make up the Catawba River chain, by car before you begin your walk (LKN IPA, of course).

Park just down Bailey Road in the gravel lot at the sharp bend near Oakhurst and use the crosswalk to join the trail, a wooded 2.4 mile trek that is the flattest in elevation of all the greenway sections.

There are log benches along the way if you need to sit and rest for a minute before you reach the shared use path alongside Old Statesville Road.

• Walk south and cross the new Bailey Road intersection and go about a quarter mile to your final destination on Treynorth Drive – D9 Brewery (Swell Rider session ale and soak it up with Popcorn Dave’s buffalo popcorn).