During the autumn and winter seasons, the outdoors can appear less than optimal. With dropping temperatures and hibernation of plants and animals, there are many who may prefer to stay indoors where it’s warm and buzzing via online media. Though this really doesn’t do justice to the beauty that the outdoors does offer during the autumn and winter seasons. It may not seem like the right weather for going to the pool or having a barbecue, but there are more ways to enjoy the outdoors than that. Hiking trails can be one of the easiest ways to experience nature and the changing seasons, while not overworking yourself into a sweat like you do in the summer. Lake Norman has several trails that are perfect to go hiking alone or with friends, and here are our top trails.
The Itusi Trail is not meant for beginners, and is found in Lake Norman’s State Park. The trailhead is near the park office, like all of Lake Norman State Park trails, and is an entire 30.5 miles round the park. We included this as an advanced trail in Lake Norman as it with provide you with a real challenge, and still showcase the beauty of Lake Norman’s autumn and winter seasons. The nice think about this trail is that it is appropriate for biking as well, and consists of 8 loops that range from about 1 to 10 miles each. The loops are individually moderate to easy, so despite it being more for advanced hikers, you can test your skills on the Itusi Trail.
The North Carolina state park website has Alder listed as one of the easiest trails you can take in Lake Norman. This ranks as one of our top trails simply because this trail is perfect for beginning hikers, or those who are looking for more of a friendly stroll than an intensive hike to enjoy. Alder is in the Lake Norman State Park, and is just under a 1 mile trail. It has views of the park’s lake and it’s foliage, giving it everything you want out of hiking without nearly all of the work. The trail is quite versatile in letting you combine it with the park’s other trails, so if you find yourself wanting more, you can easily keep going.
Lake Norman Lakeshore Trail
This trail can be found in Lake Norman’s very own state park in Troutman. The trail is reported as being a full 5 miles (6.2 when including a campground extension) and has a 4 star rating on alltrails.com. Don’t let the length fool you though, it’s segmented so you can enjoy in either it’s entirety, or take a shortcut to cut it down to a 3 mile hike depending on your interest. It has scenic views of the foliage, perfect for autumn when the leaves are turning their shades, and views of the state park’s lake.
We rank this as the best hiking trail due it’s versatility of being a moderately difficult hiking trail for those who want something that isn’t too hard and still challenging, but the ability to still be easier with the option of the shortcut. This trail has consistently high reviews, and provides the perfect scenery for the autumn and winter seasons.