Walkable Weekend: Your Guide to Exploring Cabarrus County on Foot

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From downtown centers to outdoor wonders, you can enjoy some of the best experiences in Cabarrus County on foot.

February 5, 2024

As the birthplace of Dale Earnhardt, Sr. and home of Charlotte Motor Speedway and NASCAR race teams, it’s no secret that Cabarrus County is best known for motorsports. Along with experiencing high-speed fun, you’ll find plenty of places to explore at your own pace with walkable activities.

family walking next to lake
Frank Liske Park in Concord, North Carolina

Stroll through areas like the downtown centers, where streets are lined with local boutiques and eateries, then venture across an expansive greenway system that offers ample opportunity for a peaceful walk through natural areas. Read on to discover the slower side of “Where Racing Lives!”

If You Want to Get Away From It All

Each community in Cabarrus County is home to a portion of the Carolina Thread Trail, a developing regional network of greenways, trails and blueways that reaches 15 counties, two states and 2.9 million people.

Just a few of the segments in Cabarrus County along the Thread include:

  • The 2.1-mile Buffalo Creek Preserve trail meanders through a restored Piedmont oak savanna, along local farmland and along Adams Creek and Dutch Buffalo Creek. This moderate, natural surface trail and gravel road overland connector offers stunning views from the bluff over Adams Creek.
  • In Midland, the 1.7-mile Pharr Family Preserve trail winds through 66 acres of alluvial forest protected by the Catawba Lands Conservancy and is part of the Butterfly Highway, a statewide conservation restoration initiative.
  • For a longer walk that’s fully paved, the 2.7-mile segment of the Irish Buffalo Creek Greenway borders the creek and features benches along the way, making it well-suited for walkers who may need an occasional break.
  • The Hector H. Henry II Greenway is broken up into three segments, taking hikers along the Rocky River, through a wetland and, finally, into the town of Concord for easy access to shopping and dining.
family eating ice cream while walking downtown
West Avenue in Downtown Kannapolis, North Carolina

If You Want to Be in the Heart of Town

There may be no better way to discover a small town’s charms than by foot.

Pop into local bookstores, find your new favorite coffee shop and admire historic architecture as you explore the five communities of Cabarrus County.

  • In downtown Concord, majestic trees tower over historic homes and azalea-lined streets. Enjoying breath-taking architecture on a self-guided historic walking tour down Union Street then stop at the Concord Museum inside the Historic Cabarrus County Courthouse to learn about the city’s past.
  • Recent revitalization of Kannapolis has turned the downtown area into a hub of activity. Shop your way through West Avenue, a collection of local stores offering everything from candy and puzzles to jewelry and clothing. And don’t miss Dale Earnhardt Tribute Plaza, where the town pays homage to one of its most famous former residents.
  • Located right off of Highway 49, Harrisburg’s dining scene provides the perfect setting for a walking food tour. In Town Square, start the day at Rocky River Coffee Co., have slice of Hawthorne’s Pizza for lunch, grab hyper-local happy hour drinks at Percent Tap House, and enjoy dinner at Bubba’s Bunkhouse.
  • The Mount Pleasant Historic District offers a peek into the past, with 184 historic properties peppering two miles of tree-lined streets. Along with downtown, Mt. Pleasant is home to interesting antique stops where you can get your steps in. At 100,000 square feet, White Owl Antique Mall is a walk in and of itself and nearby Cline’s Country Antiques also offers up vintage souvenirs.
  • Midland is a town set amid farmers, producers, and beekeepers — which means it’s full of fresh produce and delicious local goods. Stock up on snacks at Midland Farms and make your way to Rob Wallace Park for a picnic. Plus, experience two of the area’s most unique attractions with walking trails at Reed Gold Mine and Rocky River Vineyards.

Plan Your Perfect Weekend

Come for the motorsports, stay for everything else. Discover the best of Cabarrus County with our itineraries.

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Need info on the go? Browse the digital Destination Guide online now for details on restaurants, attractions, shops, parks, museums and more.

Destination Guide