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Best Lake Norman Hikes to See Fall Colors

Wooden dock leading out to Lake Norman with colorful fall foliage

Autumn brings lots of things to do in Lake Norman, with cooler temps and the beautiful changing landscape! If you’re here visiting, you’ll be compelled to act like a local and get out in nature. The vibrant colors of this time of year cannot be matched! Best of all, the weather stays mild through the end of the year, making a hike the perfect Lake Norman activity throughout the season. Whatever your skill and adventure level, there is something for you here.

Hikes with a Lake Norman view 

If you are looking for a hike with a variety of trails in both length and difficulty, Lake Norman State Park in Troutman has something for everyone, from pleasant strolls to more challenging hikes. Spend an hour or all day exploring this expansive park and you will surely be rewarded with some of the best views the area has to offer!

If a shorter, easier, but equally delightful walk is what’s calling you, Jetton Park in Cornelius is right on the lake and easily accessible. You’ll also find a playground, picnic areas, and a non-swimming beach with an idyllic view of the lake. The 1-mile loop around the park is paved, so it is stroller and bike-friendly!

Another ideal spot to admire fall foliage is Rock Springs Nature Preserve in Denver.

This 108-acre preserve is protected by the Catawba Lands Conservancy and is home to a variety of plants and wildlife. The trail is gentle, uncrowded, and well-maintained.

Kid-friendly hikes

If you’re seeking a picturesque setting with views of falling water and historic buildings, try the South Fork Rail Trail in Lincolnton. The sights are sure to keep little ones engaged and you’ll likely come across some great photo-ops too!

Lastly, Mountain Creek Park in Sherrills Ford is a hidden gem for families. Not only does it have a number of hiking and biking trails (including a paved ADA-accessible trail that winds through a quiet cove,) but it also boasts the most epic adventure playground! There is also a small nature center with informational displays and exhibits, live reptiles, books, and hands-on activities for kids to learn about local plants, insects, and wildlife.

Plan your perfect day

Idyllic view of Lake Norman in the Fall

As a StayLakeNorman guest, we can help you plan your perfect day on the trails. Contact our Concierge Services for additional resources, maps, and even a picnic lunch to take with you! Creating your ideal experience is our specialty. And when your adventure is complete, you won’t have to leave the beautiful scenery behind. Returning to your waterfront StayLakeNorman home away from home will reward you with a cozy place to rest and even more breathtaking views. 
Looking for even more hiking resources? Check out All Trails and Carolina Thread Trail!