Information on:

McDowell Nature Center and Preserve

15222 York Road

McDowell Nature Center serves as the gateway to the 1107- acre McDowell Nature Preserve and is the source for educational programs and information on the preserve's natural communities, flora, and fauna. The preserve, the oldest in Mecklenburg County, has been left 90% undeveloped and protects mostly forested, rolling terrain along the banks of Lake Wylie.


  • 1,107.6 acres
  • Nature Center
  • 56-Site Camp Ground
  • Copperhead Island - Fishing and Boating Access, Primitive Group Camping
  • 7 miles of hiking trails
  • Playgrounds
  • Picnic areas
  • Wildlife viewing opportunities


Cathy Shumway

Monday, July 9, 2018
We went on Sunday morning for an easy hike. I like the way we can string trails together for a short or longer walk. Trails are well marked and easy to find. A nice break down by the lake is a lovely way to cool down before heading home.

Rachael Armstrong

Sunday, April 29, 2018
Great solo camping adventure for my dogs and me. The trails were beautiful, everything was very easy access and well kept. The bathhouses were clean, close by and I loved that they were individual, private bathrooms! Only thing I wish I knew sooner is how close the sites are together. I'm a novice camper so not too much to compare to...but the kids next door made my final night/early morning pretty uncomfortable. Next time, I'll pick a spot where you park and "hike" to the actual tent site. That hike seems well worth the privacy it would have provided. Although the tent sites with electric and a parking spot were just a tad too close for what I wanted, they were exceptionally well maintained and made for easy set up and pack out! Would do it again and just rent two spots. ;-)

deborah miller-sanders

Tuesday, June 12, 2018
Had a great time, rented a shelter but was disappointed that they didn't clean it before we used it had spider eggs/ webs everywhere! Was thinking they would have sprayed the area knats were horrid had to buy lanterns and spray! But what can you say it is a nature park!! Other than that it was great! Everyone had a ball! The kids found a near by basketball court that they loved! The Park Rangers are amazingly great!! Loved them!!

James Wood

Thursday, July 5, 2018
Very nice park. A lot of walking trails and water accessibility. I have never camped there but the camp site look very nice and we'll maintained.

Zachary Rosen

Monday, July 9, 2018
I enjoyed staying at the campground except for a few families who were not very curtious to other people at the campground. They were very noisy until late hours and left there fire going while they went to sleep. The kids of said family we're running around the entire campground including my space. The campground was nice and clean. I will be staying there again even though there was rude people.

McDowell Nature Center and Preserve is not affiliated with AmericanTowns Media