Lake Norman Loop via Lake Shore Trail
This is a very busy loop trail that offers beautiful views of the lake almost the entire way. This trail uses the short turn trail to cut the distance off the entire Lake Shore trail in half. The entire Lake Shore Trail is listed as 5 miles from the trailhead or 6.3 if you include the trail from the campground. Be sure that you check the park map before you go.
The hike is a nice walk through the woods with just a few minor up and downs. The lake is visible nearly the entire trail. The trail is well marked, well maintained, and there is good cell signal throughout the trail. There is some roots on the trail, but they are not excessive.
This park is located near Charlotte so it will be busy nearly all the times, be willing to deal with lots of people. Parking is also limited due to the popularity of the park. When you enter the park, follow the signs that point you to the hiking area. When you get to the parking lot near the Lake Shore Trailhead on the map, the trail is just about a 1/10 of a mile up the road from the parking lot. The trail is well marked and there is a large map of the park at the trailhead. Going clockwise or counter clockwise will make no difference is trail rating, it is easy either way, with an equal number of minor ups and downs.
Children will do well on this trail, although it is 3 miles for the loop. Lots of places to stop and check out the lake. Strollers can make it if they have large wheels, be willing to deal with some roots on the trail in various places.
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