Situated in the southwest corner of Mecklenburg County, McDowell Nature Preserve sits along the rolling banks of Lake Wylie. It’s the oldest preserve in the county and has over 1,100 acres to explore. Visitors can take a hike, throw out a fishing line, and sleep under the stars.
From RV to primitive, there are 56 campsites to suit everyone’s needs. For experienced campers, the primitive and drive-to sites are for you. Water and electricity are available at the drive-to sites, but not at the primitive. All sites come with a fire ring with grill.
There is a Bath House which is centrally located in the campground. Each bathroom has a toilet, sink, and shower. It’s a fairly new facility, but bring your flip-flops if you are planning to shower.
Firewood and ice are available for purchase on the campground office. Check in time is 2:30 pm and checkout is 2:00 pm.
For those who have never camped before, and want to give camping a try without spending upfront money on a tent, try a Rent-A-Tent site. It’s a camping site that comes with a 12’x12’ tent already set up. It cost slightly more than other sites, but it will save you set up and break down time. These sites come with a picnic table, fire ring with grill, water, and electricity. There is a handicapped accessible one which is a wooden cabin.
There are 7 miles of hiking over 9 trails. Most trails are rated moderate with only 1 rated easy. Hitting any of the trails around the preserve is very doable for families. Pick up a map to see the distance for each one and where it will take you. For all of them, you’ll get to hike through scenic forests and a few will take you along the shore of Lake Wylie.