community to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and relax with
family activities each weekend through September at McDowell Nature
Center and Preserve. The activities are part of a series called "The
Great Urban Escape," and include: Playing with Fire, Family Campfire,
Nature at Night Hayride, Messy by Nature, Live Animal Talks andFamily
Activities kick off each Friday night at 6:30 p.m. with Playing with
Fire at the McDowell Campground fire pit. Learn a lifesaving technique
of starting a "matchless" fire. Afterwards, hang out around the
campfire, sing songs, play games, listen to stories and eat s'mores. A
limited seatingNature at Night Hayride departs at 8:15 p.m. from the
campfire. Hayrides cost $1 a person and requires pre-registration.
Registration is not required for the campfire.
Live Animal Talks are offered each Saturday and Sunday. Talks on
Saturday are from 2 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and
Sunday from 4 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Get dirty with Messy by Nature from 1
p.m. to 4 p.m. each Saturday, with a variety of messy crafts outside
the Nature Center. Family Kayak Tours launch from the waterfront deck
area each Saturday from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and each Sunday from 1 p.m.
to 3 p.m. Ages 5 and older may participate and the cost is $15 per
single boat and $20 for a tandem. Children ages 5 to 9 are required to
share a tandem kayak with an adult. Space is limited and advance
registration is required. No registration is required for Animal Talk
and Messy by Nature activities.
Bring a picnic and spend the day or make it a weekend and camp in the
only public campground in Mecklenburg County. RV, pull-through and
tent sites are available. A limited number of rent-a-tent sites are
also available. Call the Campground office at 704-583-1284 to make
McDowell Nature Preserve, located on Lake Wylie in southwest
Mecklenburg, protects over 1,100 acres of natural habitat and prairie,
with a Nature Center and seven miles of hiking trails. Admission to
the Preserve and Nature Center are free. The Preserve is open from 7
a.m. to sunset seven days a week. The Nature Center is open Monday –
Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Call
704-588-5224 for more information or to register for events.