Paw Paw Nature Trail

Take a stroll in the 100-year-old forest


One of the best-kept secrets in Charlotte

A stroll through PawPaw Nature Trail is enchanting. Visitors are transported to a place where time almost stands still, as nature lovers of all ages can explore the easy-to-navigate looped trail.

A Charlotte treasure, the more than 100-year-old woods is home to many forest friends. Listen closely for the call of barred owls, often perched or nesting high in the trees. Look low for meandering box turtles making their way into the lush undergrowth. Listen for the hammering woodpecker or the mesmerizing and methodical call of the cicada.

For plant lovers and budding botanists, catch a whiff of some extraordinary seasonal wildflowers, including the intense Jack-in-the-Pulpit and the delightful bloodroot.

If you’re lucky, you may also hear the whisper of a fairy whose house is nearby...

Life on the Paw Paw Nature Trail is full of relationships, even with people.

With our new self-guided Paw Paw Nature Hike, children, parents and everyone can discover local plants and animals commonly found in North Carolina. The connection between land and life often goes unnoticed and being aware of the wonderful world around us improves well-being and increases happiness. Plus, learning your way around plants and animals native to your home will benefit you for life.

Trail guides are located at the start and end of the trail and must be returned.

A collaborative experience

Several community organizations are relevant to the Paw Paw Nature Trail experience at Discovery Place Nature, including:

  • The North Carolina Wildlife Federation offers programs that include Butterfly Highway, Certified Wildlife Habitat, Garden for Wildlife and Schoolyard habitats
  • Trees Charlotte who organizes the Neighborhoods event
  • The Catawba Riverkeeper offers the Creek Program and hosts a range of annual events to connect people to their watershed

Explore the Paw Paw Nature Trail and download the guide below.

  • All Ages
  • Included In Admission