Charlotte Rail-with-Trail


This urban rail-with-trail follows the course of a trolley line which operated for some years until 1938. More recently, trolleys operated again between 1996 and 2006 when service was cut back and finally reduced to special occasions due to construction of the Lynx Blue Line light rail system. A trolley museum can be found right near the East-West Station at 1507 Camden Road. Currently much of the trail shares the corridor with the Lynx line as shown in the image in the Trail Photos (below).

Directions and Parking

In downtown Charlotte, the line runs south from E. 9th Street, between N. College St. and N. Brevard St. to Clanton Road in the Southend neighborhood. Parking lots line the route.

Additional Information

The current trail is known as the Lynx Blue Line Rail-Trail and runs for a total of ~2 miles. It includes both asphalt and concrete surfaces and follows the Lynx Blue Line light rail for about 2 miles. The trail is continuous between Tremont Avenue (south of downtown) south to New Bern Street (near South Blvd.). It has several well-marked at-grade crossings. This section is mostly high density residential, offices or light industrial. South of New Bern St., the trail joins a bike lane which runs for several miles along Old Pineville road roughly parallel to the light rail. North of Tremont Ave. the trail continues as a sidewalk through the Southend neighborhood into the downtown area. In downtown Charlotte this northern continuation runs beside the Time Warner Cable Arena, EpiCentre entertainment and retail center, hotels, museums, the Transportation Center and Overstreet Mall. The Lynx Blue Line ends at E. 9th Street. Users must exit the trail and use downtown sidewalks or streets for about three blocks to cross over the inner highway loop, I-277. The trail does have some road crossings but they are marked with crosswalks and signals and safe for families. Users can expect to see walkers, runners, cyclists and in-line skaters on this trail. There are many shops and restaurants along the way. There are no parks or playgrounds along the trail, however, a study initiated in August 2013 will outline an extension of the trail and a number of nearby green spaces. This $100,000 study will help determine the detailed plans for the proposed 3.3-mile Charlotte Rail Trail that would tie Southend to uptown. The City and Mecklenburg County will each contribute $30,000, and Charlotte Center City Partners will cover the remaining $40,000. The plan for the “linear park,” which would run adjacent to the Lynx light-rail system, was announced by Center City Partners in April. For more on this very promising development please see 8/26 Charlotte Observer article.

For some interesting views of the trail, light rail stations and access points take a look at this YouTube video.

Trail Photos

photo courtesy of Nancy Pierce