Photo: Headerpic4.jpg

 
Southwest District Park
Trail Information
Nearest City: Charlotte, NC
How to get there: 1720 Vilma Street.

http://charmeck.org/mecklenburg/county/ParkandRec/Facilities/RecreationCenters/Pages/Southview.aspx

Park in the Rec Center. The trailhead is at the left rear corner of the parking lot as you view the Rec Center.

Trail Length: 3 miles
Trail Description: A fun, rolling, beginner friendly trail under a canopy of hardwoods near Charlotte Airport.

Here's a 2 min video of the trail: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UuRanuEDI1c

Other Info: The trail was designed by longtime Trailblazer, Brain Malec, the corridor was blasted using the club's mechanized equipment by WaterbOb Karriker (of LNSP fame) from a $10K RTP grant and the trail gnomes hand finished the trail.

 

Review this trail


 

Trail Reviews

Date Ridden: 07/26/2017  -  Jacob of Charlotte, NC
Route Taken: CCW
Opinions: Great little trail. Has a few nice features and some great flow. A great trail if you don't have a lot of time or want to do a few laps. A lot of great trail work is going into it. Also have some rocking soil in spots to add challenge (reminded me of uwharrtie without the gut wrenching climbs).
Difficulty: Trail Rating:

Date Ridden: 07/12/2017  -  Jake of Charlotte, NC
Route Taken:
Opinions: Great trail and very close to Uptown and South End Charlotte. I have rode this trail several times. It's a nice trail with optional obstacles on the green section of the trail. There are some nice uphill and downhill sections on the green section so you get some great exercise. There is also an option blue section and an option black section of the blue section of the trail.
Difficulty: Trail Rating:

Date Ridden: 07/02/2017  -  Dennis of Charlotte, NC
Route Taken: Whole loop
Opinions: Road this little gem for the first time today. Who knew this was right here in the middle of Charlotte? Fast and flowy. It's only about 1.5 miles so do a few laps. Great spot to take less experienced riders and kids.
Difficulty: Trail Rating:

Date Ridden: 08/05/2016  -  Chappy of Charlotte, NC
Route Taken: Whole loop
Opinions: Very easy trail but also really fun. I'll definitely be coming back. There's nothing super technical but there's a wooden tree skinny and a small wooden jump that's pretty fun. Also on the way out there's an option to cross the river and an option for a short steep-ish climb. Overall a great fun little trail.
Difficulty: Trail Rating:

Date Ridden: 07/18/2016  -  aasnowrider of charlotte, nc
Route Taken: CW, CCW, CW
Opinions: Fun trail that I rode 3 times in the span of about an hour. Started CW then turned around did it again and then once more. Very fun with a couple obstacles. One little jump that was easy and confidence building. Beginner friendly for sure and also nice skill building involved.
Difficulty: Trail Rating:

Date Ridden: 04/20/2016  -  Rocky of Charlotte, NC
Route Taken: all of them,,only like 2 but you can take anyway you want as along as you don't see anybody else..
Opinions: This trail is officialy on the list of training for me. Love the quick DH and little climbs. Feels at times like it has a taste of LKN in it. Yes it has Flow. I ride this on my SS 29er. It helps me when I get on my 26er in cutting corners and just handeling in general. This is a great trail and the neighborhood is not bad at all..Good people always out living lives. I would highly say for newbys to come try this, it will help build confidence in speed and handeling corners..Not hard at all...
Difficulty: Trail Rating:

Date Ridden: 04/20/2016  -  Rocky of Charlotte, NC
Route Taken: all of them,,only like 2 but you can take anyway you want as along as you don't see anybody else..
Opinions: This trail is officialy on the list of training for me. Love the quick DH and little climbs. Feels at times like it has a taste of LKN in it. Yes it has Flow. I ride this on my SS 29er. It helps me when I get on my 26er in cutting corners and just handeling in general. This is a great trail and the neighborhood is not bad at all..Good people always out living lives. I would highly say for newbys to come try this, it will help build confidence in speed and handeling corners..Not hard at all...bouns , it is not but maybe 3 miles from the house so I can mix it up by hitting this then Renni after for torture,,not saying it ain'g torture enough with the cars getting to and fro...
Difficulty: Trail Rating:

Date Ridden: 03/08/2016  -  Mark of Gastonia, NC
Route Taken:
Opinions: Great trail! I have been riding it for years. I have ridden at night, day and on different days of the week. Never had an issue with the trail and definitely not the community. Great trail for a beginner or experienced rider as well as a good good cross training trail to run and ride.
Difficulty: Trail Rating:

Date Ridden: 11/17/2015  -  Chad of Fort Mill, SC
Route Taken: All
Opinions: I ride this trail a lot and felt the need to respond to the post below. SWDP is near the airport and the CPCC campus. I assume it is a low income neighborhood but calling it ghetto or bad would be incorrect. I have never had a problem leaving my truck parked in parking lot by the security camera. If you are not narrow minded, this is great trail for beginners or learning to go faster.
Difficulty: Trail Rating:

Date Ridden: 10/31/2015  -  Matthew of Charlotte , Nc
Route Taken: NOPE! Pulled in and pulled out
Opinions: This trail is a whole lot of "nope" you won't catch me riding in this ghetto of a park. Bad area, bad neighborhood... This really shouldn't be on the trail map, but it's part of the city parkway...
Difficulty: Trail Rating:

Date Ridden: 10/21/2015  -  Peter of Matthews, NC
Route Taken: Right
Opinions: Nice trail for beginners. I was suprised at how well it was maintained. I work about half a mile away so it is fun to ride in the mornings before work.
Difficulty: Trail Rating:

Date Ridden: 05/25/2015  -  Nate of Charlotte, NC
Route Taken: Right
Opinions: Thanks to the Trailblazers for opening up the back .5 mi loop! Ran 3 laps today and it was great. I've done this trail maybe 6 times so far and never seen another patron. BE CAREFUL- if you ride to this trail from West Bvld there is broken glass all over the streets in the housing community. This is not a one time occurrence. Trail is in great shape, on entry/exit the west route is steeper but much less rocky. For added bonus cross the creek in the water/rocks instead of the bridge.
Difficulty: Trail Rating:

Date Ridden: 05/16/2015  -  Lewis of Charlotte, NC
Route Taken: Main loop.
Opinions: This trail is great for beginners. My 11yr old son and I went first thing this morning. Lots of spider webs - but who cares. The trail has really easy elevation changes and a few tricks to have fun with. I hope more people go out there and use it. A great way to get kids comfortable on the MB.
Difficulty: Trail Rating:

Date Ridden: 05/13/2015  -  Jim of Charlotte, Nc
Route Taken: Counterclockwise
Opinions: Great trail easy enough to ride fast a good option for us non gonzo types
Difficulty: Trail Rating:

Date Ridden: 10/06/2014  -  Kevin of Charlotte, NC
Route Taken: Main loop (multiple times)
Opinions: This is a great little trail for some after work biking for those working uptown or in the Billy Graham/Tyvola/West side area. The main loop is only around 2 miles with about a 1/4 mile entrance/exit 2 way trail from the parking lot, so you can ride as little or as much as you want. Currently, the trail is underused enough that you can get away riding both ways, but I prefer the way that it's marked (counter- clockwise). The climbs are mostly gradual and short, and while all loop trails are elevation neutral this one feels like it's mostly downhill. The designers really made the most out of the minor elevation changes available to make it as fun as possible.

This trail has gotten some recent attention lately, and some new trail features are being added, so I'm sure my opinion will only go up as this trail gets better and gets some more use. The spiderwebs can get pretty bad if nobody has ridden in a few days, but I just blast through the first lap to knock them all down, clean myself off, and then I'm good to go for some spider-free laps. The concerns about the neighborhood, in my opinion, are a bit overblown. Sure, it's low income housing, but there are new, nicer buildings going up and the rec center looks to be very well maintained. The parking lot has cameras over by the trail head. I honestly feel better about leaving my car here than I do at Renaissance, which is in a "better" area yet has a well documented history of break ins and no cameras in the parking lot.

In short, ride this trail! It will only get better with use.

Difficulty: Trail Rating:

Date Ridden: 10/04/2014  -  Pat of Charlotte, NC
Route Taken: Full trail both directions
Opinions: This excellent trail gets very little use mainly because it's small... 2.4mi loop. Really great trail to bring young or new riders since it is smooth and flowy. Some mild technical sections and gentle climbs make it challenging for beginniers, or for anyone to test their speed.

Since it's lightly used you can take the trail clockwise or counter- clockwise for variety. Nice creek crossing adds spce, but you can take the bridge if you want.

Easy parking at the Southview Rec Center.

Here's a vid I shot which shows what the trail is like:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3_RbERItoY

Difficulty: Trail Rating:

Date Ridden: 09/21/2014  -  Jason of Charlotte, NC
Route Taken: Main
Opinions: Really great beginner trail. Been to WWC and Jetton, and I personally think this one is the best mix of mild technical, roots or tight squeezes with minimal elevation and some straights — again, good for beginners. Spider webs were fun, but I'm sure I was the first of the day. 4-5' black snake was also fun. :)
Difficulty: Trail Rating:

Date Ridden: 09/14/2014  -  Jake of Charlotte, Nc
Route Taken:
Opinions: Fun trail, but the spider webs were awful!
Difficulty: Trail Rating:

Date Ridden: 08/21/2014  -  Mark Herman of Charlotte, NC
Route Taken: Single route
Opinions: Great beginner trail. I agree with the previous two posts. This could even a better trail with some TLC. Nicely shaded. Spider-webby. But maybe because it was the time of year. Having the rec center at the trailhead is a plus too. Great place to cool off and get a post ride drink. Staff was very nice.
Difficulty: Trail Rating:

Date Ridden: 08/16/2014  -  Eric of Charlotte, NC
Route Taken: Main loop (x2)
Opinions: This trail is fast, flowy, and very well designed. This has the potential to be the best trail on the west side with a few extensions, some options, and a whole lotta love. The surrounding neighborhood seems to turn some people off and so the trail lingers in disuse and some disrepair. But to be honest, there's nothing wrong with the surrounding neighborhood or the government recreation center lot where you will be parking. Don't let fear of poorer neighborhoods ruin this trail for you. Go out there and ride - and maybe if we ride there enough, and show the trail and neighborhood some love, something great just might happen here.
Difficulty: Trail Rating:

Date Ridden: 08/14/2014  -  Amber of Fort Mill, SC
Route Taken: It's a single loop. This is not a long trail, at a moderate pace you can do the loop in 15 minutes.
Opinions: This would make an excellent beginner trail but it needs some TLC because it does not seem to get hardly any visits. It would be so much fun if it were more heavily used. The spider webs are horrific because it doesn't get much use....or maybe it doesn't get much use because the spider webs are horrific. I speculate that most of the riders on here want longer trails and blue or black diamond level rides (green is beginner, blue intermediate, black is supposed to be expert). This trail would be sweet with some berms and maybe a small jump or two. I found two downed trees, one was mostly rotted out and I think it would be a nice spot for a jump but I did clear a small bypass around it as much as I could. In doing so however, I became a mosquito buffet. My legs and arms are covered in bites. The other tree is much longer but not very thick, a sharp axe should do the trick if a chainsaw is not available. The trail is covered in seed pods and small brush and debris, again if it were just ridden more the path would be more dirt and more fun. It has lots of swift twists, dips, and not much climbing for those who tire quickly on hills. It's also, surprisingly, very clearly marked for how little use it appears to get. There are visible arrow signs every so often and it's not a huge loop so you would have to be pretty blind to get lost on it. I would love if some people wanted to team up to give this trail some love, it's a great little trail for beginners, and anyone who just wants a fast swift ride with pretty much no technical or advanced stuff....but again, some berms and a little TLC, it could be so much more fun.
Difficulty: Trail Rating:

Date Ridden: 04/10/2014  -  Trace of Seattle, Wa
Route Taken: Drove up, drove out!
Opinions: I'm in from Seattle for 6 weeks of work and I brought my mt bike with me. This forum is GREAT, but please, let's be honest here. This trail should be taken off your website. This is a BAD nieghborhood!! A guys dead body was dropped here a few weeks ago. Some young kids that killed another man in a different area of Charlotte also came to this area after the killing and robbed a jogger at 7:30AM. I drove in and immedietly drove out. What's a kid going to do when he see's someone with a $2000 mt bike? Let him ride thru the hood or steal it and possibly commit a violent crime.
Difficulty: Trail Rating:

Date Ridden: 03/16/2014  -  Robert of Seifts, NC
Route Taken: My first time on the trail and it was a blast. Its challenging, exciting and a lot of fun. I hooked up with three other bikers and had a guide on a very long trail. Keep up the great work on the trail one of the best overall trail i've ridden in a long time.
Opinions:
Difficulty: Trail Rating:

Date Ridden: 12/21/2013  -  Ms of Charlotte, Nc
Route Taken:
Opinions: The trails has been completely cleaned off. Spider webs cleaned out. Go ride this trail
Difficulty: Trail Rating:

Date Ridden: 04/13/2013  -  Enrico of Charlotte, Nc
Route Taken: Loop
Opinions: This trail is fun for a beginner like me. Careful though as there are a couple of fallen tree that block the trail
Difficulty: Trail Rating:

Date Ridden: 08/31/2012  -  Mark of Gastonia, NC
Route Taken: Main loop
Opinions: Great trail but haven't ridden it in a while. Put in a little work over the last week after reading some of the recent posts. It's back in great shape!

3 fallen trees cut and moved off the trail, limbs trimmed, leaves blown off the trail and grass to the main loop cut. Some of limbs the spider webs were attached to were trimmed but can't promise some won't be built back.

Good riding to all!

Difficulty: Trail Rating:

Date Ridden: 06/16/2012  -  wild_bill34 of Charlotte, NC
Route Taken: Main Loop
Opinions: Nice ride in the woods, hard to believe your in the city.

Trail defiantly does not get much use. Lots of small to medium size tree limbs down on the trail and some over growth and a ton of leaves along the trail making it hard to follow the trail in some spots. I think cleaned out about 30 cobwebs along my ride as well.

There is a few large trees down that block the trail and a chainsaw is needed to clear the path.

This is a fun trail for a rookie like me. It just needs some ridership and a little TLC.

Difficulty: Trail Rating:

Date Ridden: 10/22/2011  -  Jon of Charlotte, NC
Route Taken: Main Loop
Opinions: Fun little loop but bring a chainsaw (a handful of large limbs and a couple downed trees), some glasses (overgrowth will whip your eyes) and pay attention ... the trail is marked but with the lack of riding and leaves there are a couple spots where you can lose the trail.
Difficulty: Trail Rating:

Date Ridden: 09/24/2011  -  Kevin Nichols of Rock Hill, SC
Route Taken:
Opinions: This was the first trail I've ever ridden in Mountain Biking. As previous posters noted, it's not used that much. I hit plenty of spider webs.

Overall, the trail is in decent shape. There about about 3 or 4 trees down that you have to get over and there's a trash porcelain toilet on the trail. :)

I rode the trail 1 time last Saturday. With the recent rains, I was definitely slipping around a little.

Also, other posters noting the sketchy neighborhood...it's true. The rec center seems really nice, but the hood is not so great. I probably wouldn't ride it again....especially by myself.

The reason I rode this trail is because the Anne Springs Greenway trail was closed last weekend. I live in Rock Hill and it's more convenient.

K

Difficulty: Trail Rating:

Date Ridden: 09/13/2011  -  AppState of Charlotte, NC
Route Taken: Main Loop
Opinions: First and foremost I want to extend my most sincere gratitude, on behalf of the citizens of Charlotte, to myself... for taking 45 spider webs to the face on my first run of this 2 mile loop. It is obvious that this trail has been long forgotten. It screams neglect, yet still has an impressive amount of character. There are decently fast hillside descents and even a leaf filled, thank goodness, toilet bowl off the side of the trail towards the end of the loop. There are three major blow downs that need to be cleared, along with some raking, trimming, and trash pickup. Aside from the aforementioned one thing that you are guaranteed to find is no one else, which can be a nice break from the occasional circus you may experience while riding the better known trails in the area. This could be a great Eagle Scout project or modern day CCC overhaul (since we are in a recession and all). It’s worth checking out, after all, we all like attention and that’s all you’ll get and this trail needs.
Difficulty: Trail Rating:

Date Ridden: 08/15/2011  -  Jon Harding of Charlotte, NC
Route Taken: I rode over here from uptown on my lunch break via S. Mint and West Blvd (about 20 minutes). I rode the 3 mile loop one time.
Opinions: There are about 3 large fallen trees across the trail, and various branches, but nothing that's going to kill you. It's a great trail to get a quick ride in and it's close to Uptown CLT.
Difficulty: Trail Rating:

Date Ridden: 07/16/2011  -  Jay T of Charlotte, NC
Route Taken: Main Trail
Opinions: I could tell no one has ridden here lately. I looked like a spiderweb after making my first loop. Also cleared what fallen limbs/trees off of the trail that I could. So, after a little trail cleaning and tlc I was able to rock it on my next 2 loops around. Pretty quick trail in some sections, especially once I had somewhat learned the trail. Some nice short climbs, overall I enjoyed the ride. Will definitely be taking lunch breaks there for a quick and fun ride.
Difficulty: Trail Rating:

Date Ridden: 05/27/2011  -  Tee of Gastonia, NC
Route Taken: Main Trail
Opinions: This was a very good trail if you only have 20 min or so to ride. Trail seems to be ridden often because of very few spider webs and evidence of tire tracks. I would recommend this trail to anyone. I've ridden this trail several times now and felt just as comfortable here as I have at any of the other trails in the area. Thanks Tarheel Trailblazers for creating such good trails for those of us who like riding.
Difficulty: Trail Rating:

Date Ridden: 12/22/2010  -  Dirt Rider of Monroe, NC
Route Taken: Riding route
Opinions: Fantastic fast trail. Looks like it was recently blown and was in great condition. 4 fast laps and my legs were burning. I think I'll start riding here vs Renni.
Difficulty: Trail Rating:

Date Ridden: 07/27/2010  -  Daniel of Charlotte, NC
Route Taken: Main Loop
Opinions: Trail has potential, but doesn't seem very popular. Had to clear lots of trees, limbs, and spider webs on the first go. Rode 2 more rounds really fast. Could use some TLC and more obstacles.
Difficulty: Trail Rating:

Date Ridden: 06/02/2010  -  Dennis of Belmont, NC
Route Taken:
Opinions: Awsome trail. What a great flow. The trail is short but you can fix that by riding it multiple times. This is a trail to train for Biathlons. I'm dissapointed in all the negative comments especially when everything said can happen at any trail in charlotte and probably has. Lets stay positive until there is a real reason to do otherwise!! Alot of hard work went into this trail and it is a awsome trail!
Difficulty: Trail Rating:

Date Ridden: 04/15/2010  -  natas of stanley, nc
Route Taken: the only one
Opinions: honestly, i think this trail could be a good one. it needs some tlc though. looked like about half of it had been raked to clear the leaves, but the other half was covered. not to mention there was a ton of trash all over the place. the trail wasn't difficult and would be a great place to bring a true beginner. i went alone around 6:30 in the evening and was honestly worried about getting ambushed while on the trail. i would advise not going alone.
Difficulty: Trail Rating:

Date Ridden: 03/09/2010  -  The Fuzz of Charlotte, NC
Route Taken: Main trail
Opinions: LOTS AND LOTS OF LEAVES!! Trail was smooth other then that. It wasn't really challenging but could be a nice workout if you do more then one lap.
Difficulty: Trail Rating:

Date Ridden: 03/05/2010  -  Alex of Charlotte, NC
Route Taken: Main loop
Opinions: Took the girlfriend on her first MTB ride and the trail was perfect for it. Well marked and in surprisingly good shape except for a downed tree (d=~8")about 2 mi in. I was unable to clear but was able to knock it down enough and buttress it to be ride-over able. We took it pretty easy but this trail would be a great sprinter for those short on time on weekdays. A full lap is under 3 mi. Yes, it is in the projects but I wouldn't worry too much about it during daylight hours. Parking lot is next to Southview Recreation Center and was well populated when we were there.
Difficulty: Trail Rating:

Date Ridden: 11/17/2009  -  Arnie of Charlotte, NC
Route Taken: The loop
Opinions: Took JC’s advice and three of us rode the loop two times which amounted to 4.7 miles. We parked under the surveillance cameras in the parking lot. The forest has a lot of mature hard wood trees which makes this place special. The trail was covered with leaves and a lot of sticks and limbs littered the trail. We encountered one 8 to 10 inch pine tree that had fallen across the trail and we were able to clear it out of the way. It appears from the condition of the trail that no one rides here. I think if more folks would ride here it would make the trail a lot better. The trail system could get expanded because they still have a lot of unused land there.
Difficulty: Trail Rating:

Date Ridden: 11/15/2009  -  JC of Huntersville, NC
Route Taken: Standard loop...a little over 2mi.
Opinions: The trail is well put together. It flows very nicely, like Lake Norman State park. No difficult climbs or tricky, technical obstacles. Unfortunately, I did not have a good first impression, as I was exiting my first (and only) lap and was greeted with a couple engaging in oral sex. This definitely has left a negative impression on me and am not sure if I'll return. I anticipate that as this trail gains popularity, so will the inherent risk of riding in this area. It is unfortunate, because the trail is very scenic and was well thought out. I recommend that you ride with a friend and be cautious / alert / aware of your surroundings, when on this trail.
Difficulty: Trail Rating:

Date Ridden: 10/23/2009  -  chad jaggers of charlotte, nc
Route Taken: all
Opinions: dont get discuraged before you get there. Trail was smooth and fast. Reminded me of LNSP. A short drive to rennisance park. Parking lot seems pretty secure for the neiborhood the trail is in. It was worth my time I would recomend it! Plan on riding rennisance or WWC its not the longest trail.
Difficulty: Trail Rating:

Date Ridden: 09/01/2009  -  Yo Mamma of Charlotte , NC
Route Taken: I went in and to the left the trail, is short, but fast. I rode 4 or 5 laps out there, and it was blazing fast after i cleared the spiderwebs.
Opinions: The trail, tho new and short, was fast, and has plenty of potential. The problem that i see is location, it is not on the best side of town, and you better make sure you lock your car, as well as not have anything in it (good idea at any trail). After you get scared in the ghetto, and are 100% sure that your GPS or Google maps has directed you wrong, you find it.

All in all, it is a little gem, if you can get past the ghetto feeling of the parking lot.

Difficulty: Trail Rating:

 
Tarheel Trailblazers | 182 Saddle Road | Mooresville, NC 28115
 
DHTML / Menu by OpenCube