CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — A vital connection in the Mecklenburg County greenway system has been completed, providing a linchpin for local runners, cyclists and overall connectivity.

The Little Sugar Creek Greenway now runs continuously from Cordelia Park in Villa Heights all the way to the James K. Polk Birthplace in Pineville for a 13.7-mile route. The final piece, between Brandywine Road in Myers Park and Tyvola Road just west of Park Road opened up in late April. The new section was completed with city funding, as is the entire path from Tyvola north. 

The Little Sugar Creek also is part of the Carolina Thread Trail and the Cross Charlotte Trail, or XCLT, and will eventually be extended to the University City area to connect with the Mallard Creek greenway.  

Here are some of the visual elements and vital access points from each segment of the trial, from south to north: 

Polk Birthplace to I-485 

Length: 1.8 miles 

This southernmost section provides scenic connectivity to three regional shopping centers, including Carolina Place Mall and the Super G Mart. The route features wildflowers, creek views, a sculpture and a wetland observation deck, and of course access to a state historic site. 

Highlight: Marsh Park, with access across from Shake Shake Seafood. 

I-485 to Huntingtowne Farms Park (upper)

Length: 3 miles 

There are several spots to take part in recreation off the path in this stretch. Huntingtowne Farms Park runs linearly along the greenway, with a bevy of field space (with parking), basketball and tennis courts, and a playground with a gazebo on the south side. 

Highlight: There’s a fun curvy section just north of Sharon Road West to keep cyclists on their toes 

Huntingtown Farms Park (upper) to Tyvola Road 

Length: 1.5 miles 

Though this section is shorter than most others, there are three bridges that cross over the creek. A parking lot on Tyvola provides easy access to a network of mountain biking trails (and the biggest incline that’s part of the greenway).  

Highlight: Access to Park Road Park 

Tyvola Road to Brandywine Road 

Length: 1.6 miles 

The newest section has a few areas that will be prone to flooding, but is a small price to pay for the new access. Near the Hedgemore Plaza building, there is a sharp curve that required some serious engineering and has a feel of a lower-elevation Blue Ridge Parkway. 

Highlight: Getting to see Bocce Ball matches at one of the apartment complexes off Park Road. 

Cyclists and pedestrians get views of apartment complexes off of Park Road.

Brandywine Road to East Boulevard 

Length: 1.8 miles 

What is essentially the “Myers Park Segment” takes you alongside quiet neighborhood streets, while also experiencing nature on the other. There is a section where the sidewalk serves as the route, but after crossing over Princeton Avenue, the trail goes into the woods across the creek from Freedom Park. 

Highlight: Access to Park Road Shopping Center and the city’s most prestigious neighborhood 

East Boulevard to 7th Street 

Length: 2.2 miles 

The greenway reaches an urban setting, running first alongside Atrium Health facilities, then after crossing underneath Morehead Road, is street level parallel to King’s Drive. There are several amenities in that stretch, including bathrooms, a fountain and gathering space. The areas closest to uptown can flood with rainy rainfall. Construction currently directs you to King’s Drive between East Blvd. and Morehead Road.

Highlight: Views of the uptown skyline 

7th Street to Cordelia Park 

Length: 1.8 miles 

After crossing Central Avenue over Independence Boulevard, this section takes you north of uptown. It includes a trip through Alexander Park, which features public art, including a canopied structure with a bench that gently sways in any direction. The northern terminus ends at Cordelia Park, where NoDa’s food and beverage offerings are just a few blocks away. 

Highlight: Cordelia Park’s basketball court is Charlotte Hornets-themed.