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McDowell Nature Center & Preserve

15222 York Rd., Charlotte, NC

Phone:
1-(704)-588-5224

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Featured Event

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Other Upcoming Events

Beaver Cove Exploration Hike

Animals, For the Family, General, Nature

Come and explore a large cove of Lake Wylie in this 1.5-hour hike from the Nature Center. We will be hiking to a semi-off trail location to get an up-close look at a beaver lodge and dam and a possible beaver sighting. Pre-registration is required. Notes: Please wear sturdy, closed-toe shoes and dress appropriately for the weather. We will be hiking approximately 1-2 miles on uneven terrain. Please bring your own water bottle.

Information:

• Sat 9/22/18 at 2:30 PM - 4:00 PM

Wishin’ to go Fly Fishing

For the Family, Fishing, General

Cast a fly while enjoying the peaceful side of Lake Wylie at McDowell Nature Preserve. Learn the ins and outs of fly fishing from an expert at the nature center and test your new skills with others. All equipment provided. North Carolina fishing license is required for ages 16 and over (not available at the nature center). Pre-registration is required for ALL participants, adult and child alike. Notes: Please wear sturdy, waterproof closed-toe shoes and dress appropriately for the weather. Bring your own water bottle.

Information:

• Sat 9/22/18 at 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM

Natural Happenings: Leaf Artwork

For the Family, General, Green/Environmental, Nature

Use nature as a canvas and explore the beauty of fall with leaf artwork. Learn about the science behind fall colors and why trees endure this beautiful yet mysterious transition each year. Pre-registration is required for ALL participants, adult and child alike. Notes: Parent participation required. Please dress appropriately for the weather. Portions of program may take place outside.

Information:

• Sun 9/23/18 at 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Harvest Moon Twilight Paddle

General, Kayaking

Celebrate the coming of the Autumn Equinox on a twilight paddle from McDowell Nature Preserve on Lake Wylie. Paddle your way under the rising stars and harvest moon glow, as we seek signs and glimpses of McDowell's nocturnal animal night life. Pre-registration is required. Notes: Please dress appropriately for the weather. Bring your own water bottle, towel, extra clothes, sunscreen, hat and a snack. Tour is about 2.5 miles of paddling.

Information:

• Mon 9/24/18 at 8:00 PM - 10:00 PM

Off-Trail Adventure Hike

General, Hiking, Nature

Uncover the secrets of the preserve that are not accessible by trails! Join our Outdoor Recreation staff as we explore the preserve off-trail. Come prepared to "bushwhack" and bring an adventurous spirit. Pre-registration is required. Notes: This hike qualifies for our 100 mile hike club. Please wear sturdy, waterproof closed-toe shoes and dress appropriately for the weather. We will be hiking approximately 2-3 miles on uneven terrain. Please bring your own water bottle.

Information:

• Thu 9/27/18 at 1:00 PM - 3:30 PM

Get Going Geocache

For the Family, General, Hiking, Nature

Explore McDowell Nature Preserve with others in search of hidden caches. This guided geocache program for newbies and pros alike will teach participants how to use a GPS and find caches around the preserve on a 2-3 mile hike. Pre-registration required (for all participants, adult and child alike). Notes: Please wear sturdy, closed-toe shoes and dress appropriately for the weather. Please bring your own water bottle.

Information:

• Fri 10/5/18 at 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM

MeckTeen Greenforce Workday: Lake Wylie Riversweep

Education, Children, General, Green/Environmental, Nature

Help make a difference in local parks by building and maintaining trails, removing harmful plants from the ecosystem, and helping native plants survive. Each Greenforce Day is designed to provide teens the chance to get out and help the community. Each time participants volunteer, they earn credit towards a free outdoor adventure! Lunch, snack, water, and all equipment provided. Pre-registration required. Please call Chad Moore at 980-314-1128 for more information. Notes: Please be prepared to work in all weather conditions. Lunch will be provided but please bring your own water bottles to be refilled. Please notify staff of any allergies.

Information:

• Sat 10/6/18 at 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Have No Fear

Animals, Children, For the Family, General, Nature

Scared of snakes? Bugged out by bugs? Bats making you batty? Have no fear - these animals are not out to get you and are actually quite beneficial! Separate fact from fiction about some commonly misunderstood animals, like the brown recluse spider, venomous snakes, and bats. Learn why these animals should be revered instead of feared. Pre-registration required (for all participants, adult and child alike as classroom space is limited).

Information:

• Sun 10/7/18 at 2:30 PM - 3:30 PM

Babes in the Woods

Animals, Children, General, Hiking, Nature

Hit the (paved) trail with your little one and experience what nature has to offer this month. Stretch your legs while you chat with other parents and a McDowell Naturalist in a casual, social setting. In case of inclement weather, we will meet inside the Nature Center for indoor playtime. Pre-registration required. Notes: Parent participation required. Stroller-friendly program; groups welcome but must register each child individually. Please wear sturdy, closed-toe shoes and weather-appropriate, comfortable clothing. Please bring your own water bottle. Parking is at the "Four Seasons Trail" head below the Nature Center parking lot.

Information:

• Mon 10/8/18 at 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Adult Hiking Series: Migration Mysteries

Animals, General, Hiking, Nature

Get up and get active with a McDowell Naturalist during this 90-minute, adult only hike through McDowell Nature Preserve. Pre-Registration is required. Additional date and theme for this program is October 23 – Theme – Colors of Fall same time. Notes: This hike qualifies for our 100 mile hike club. Come prepared to hike approximately 2 to 3 miles on uneven terrain. Please wear sturdy, closed-toe shoes and weather-appropriate, comfortable clothing. Please bring your own water bottle.

Information:

• Tue 10/9/18 at 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM

Lake Wylie Evening Kayak Tour

General,Kayaking,Nature,Tour

Paddle the edges of McDowell Nature Preserve and get a chance to see the sun set over Lake Wylie with our ACA certified instructors. Learn the history of Lake Wylie and meet new people in a fun environment. All equipment provided. Registration is required. Notes: Please bring your own water bottle, towel, extra clothes, sunscreen, hat and a snack. Must be able to paddle for an extended period of time.

Information:

• Wed 10/10/18 at 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Preschool Explorers: Totally Turtles

Animals, Children, General, Nature

Little ones and adults discover nature together through crafts, games, songs, animal encounters and outdoor exploration. Choose one-time slot per week/theme. A) Totally Turtles: meet live turtles and learn how you can help protect them. B) Pumpkin Hunt: pumpkins come in all shapes and sizes - which will be your favorite? Pre-registration required. Additional Dates and Theme for this program are October 12 - Theme - Totally Turtles and October 25 & 26 - Theme - Pumpkin Hunt same times. Notes: Parent participation required.

Information:

• Thu 10/11/18 at 10:00 AM - 10:45 AM11:00 AM11:45 AM

Lake Wylie Sunrise Kayak Tour

General,Tour,Kayaking

Explore sunrise along the edges of McDowell Nature Preserve with our experienced instructors. Learn the history of Lake Wylie and meet new people in a fun environment. Registration is required. Notes: Please bring your own water bottle, towel, extra clothes, sunscreen, hat and a snack. Must be able to paddle for an extended period of time.

Information:

• Fri 10/12/18 at 6:00 AM - 8:00 AM

Mindfulness Hike

General, Hiking, Animals, Green/Environmental, Nature

Enjoying great conversation and laughter with others is important for our mental health, but so is slowing down and making a conscious effort to engage in our senses. Deepen your connection with the natural world during this 1-2 mile "silent" walk through the preserve. Pre-registration required. Notes: This hike qualifies for our 100 mile hike club. Please wear sturdy, waterproof closed-toe shoes and dress appropriately for the weather. We will be hiking approximately 1-2 miles on uneven terrain. Please bring your own water bottle.

Information:

• Sat 10/13/18 at 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM

Family Fun Nature Hike

Animals, Children, Education, For the Family, General, Green/Environmental, Hiking, Nature

Curious about the wonders of McDowell Nature Preserve? Discover something new on this guided 2-3 mile hike while playing environmentally educational games. Pre-registration required (for all participants, adult and child alike). Notes: This hike qualifies for our 100 mile hike club. Please wear sturdy, waterproof closed-toe shoes and dress appropriately for the weather. We will be hiking approximately 2-3 miles on uneven terrain. Please bring your own water bottle.

Information:

• Sun 10/14/18 at 1:30 PM - 3:00 PM

Nature at Night

Animals, Crafts, Children, For the Family, General, Hiking, Education, Nature

Join the McDowell Nature Center for a fun-filled, educational night as we explore what surprises nature has to offer after the sun goes down! The evening will include live animals, crafts, night hikes, hayrides, hotdog meal (1 meal per person), s'mores, storytelling, and much more! Pre-registration required (2 years and under are free!). Program fee includes meal and access to all activities. This event is rain or shine. Notes: Wear clothes and sturdy shoes appropriate for the activities and weather. Bring your own flashlights.

Information:

• Sat 10/20/18 at 5:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Lake Wylie Full Moon Kayak Tour

General, Kayaking Tour, Nature

Paddle the edges of McDowell Nature Preserve and get a chance to see the sun set over Lake Wylie with our certified and experienced instructors. Learn the history of Lake Wylie and meet new people in a fun environment. All equipment provided. Pre-registration required. Notes: Please dress appropriately for the weather. Bring your own water bottle, towel and extra clothes. Tour is about 2.5 miles of paddling.

Information:

• Wed 10/24/18 at 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Natural Soundscapes Hike

Animals, General, Green/Environmental, Hiking, Nature

Soundscapes are the component of the acoustic environment that can be perceived by humans. Come to McDowell Nature Preserve to awaken your sense of wonder through your ears that will reconnect you to nature through the sounds of the forest. Learn how to listen to the earth surrounding you through a guided soundscape mediation and hike. Pre-registration required. Notes: This hike qualifies for our 100 mile hike club. Please wear sturdy, closed-toe shoes and dress appropriately for the weather. We will be hiking approximately 1-2 miles and will be sitting in the woods. Please bring a water bottle.

Information:

• Sat 10/27/18 at 2:30 PM - 4:00 PM

Natural Happenings: Birds of Prey

Animals, Children, Education, For the Family, General, Hiking, Nature

What is the difference between an eagle and a hawk? How do owls see so well at night? What is the world's fastest animal? These questions and many more will be answered through an interactive program about the many different birds of prey in the Central Piedmont region. Pre-registration required (for all participants, adult and child alike). Notes: Parent participation required.

Information:

• Sun 10/28/18 at 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Fire Building

Education, For the Family, General, Green/Environmental, Nature

Do you know how to build a fire? If not, come to McDowell Nature Preserve and learn how. In this class we will talk about different fire-starting techniques, ways to build a fire and how to tend to it. We will also try to start a fire using primitive methods like a bow drill. After building the fire we will test it out by making a tasty treat. Pre-registration required (for all participants, adult and child alike).

Information:

• Tue 10/30/18 at 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM