By the Jesse Brown’s Outdoors Team ~ our Smarty experts on all things outdoors!
For over 50 years, Jesse Brown’s Outdoors has been proud to employ staff who are not only passionate about outdoor adventures but who also turn that passion into a lifestyle. From fly-fishing to hiking to world traveling, on any given weekday or weekend, there is usually a staff member ‘in the field’ or ‘on assignment’ actively enjoying the outdoors. So, it should be of no surprise that these recommendations are favorite ‘staff approved’ outings which come well-informed and highly encouraged!
It should also be noted that families and outdoor enthusiasts in the greater Charlotte, NC area have some pretty incredible assets at their disposable, so many quality options in fact, that it’s all so easy to take for granted! South Mountains State Park (1hr 30min drive from CLT), Morrow Mountain State Park (1hr 15min drive from CLT), and Crowders Mountain State Park (35 min drive from CLT) all provide various levels of camping sites and hiking trails, while Wilson Creek (2hr drive from CLT) also provides a great spot for beginner fly-fishers or experienced anglers alike.
One of the staff’s favorite recommendations to get outdoors is South Mountains State Park, just south of Morganton, NC. The park is NC’s largest state park with 40+ miles of trail ranging from easy to moderate to strenuous ratings nestled in the mountainous foothills, including trail options for mountain biking and equestrian riding. The High Shoals Fall is a beautiful 80ft. waterfall to take in, and can be viewed after a walk along the kid-friendly Nature Trail which departs from the parking lot. Ample and very accessible camping sites are available. Avid hikers can also summit Chestnut Knob with a breathtaking view via the Chestnut Knob trail which is a 2.6 mile strenuous (but worthwhile!) hike from the parking lot to the overlook.
Another favorite, is Morrow Mountain State Park, which is just east of Albemarle, NC and is located within the Uwharrie Mountains. This park also has a great variety of activity and camping options, augmented with 15 miles of hiking trails and 16 miles of bridle trails. The opportunity to also paddle, fish, swim, and rent a canoe or rowboat for use on Lake Tillery is also an option. Many families also choose to use the park’s facilities for picnicking – whether that is on the summit of Morrow Mountain or at another shelter – one of which was built by the Works Progress Administration (WPA). History-lovers will also be interested in learning about the local presence of Native Americans 10,000 years prior to European settlements and the artifacts found on park property which are displayed in the visitor’s center.
A little bit closer to Charlotte is Crowders Mountain State Park, located west of Gastonia near Kings Mountain, which offers a fun view of the Queen City’s skyline when viewed from the mountain’s peak. While many like to rock climb and boulder (with a permit) at the park, most visitors are either there to enjoy the rugged hikes on any one of the eleven hiking trails or some of the ‘backcountry’ camping available as well. Nearby Kings Mountain State Park is linked via the Ridgeline Trail used by avid hikers. Because of the proximity to Charlotte, the ability to fish, rent a canoe, or take a hike, Crowders Mountain State Park is a favorite to many families in the city!
Most hikers won’t have a problem deciding where to begin a day-hike, but what about anglers looking for a challenging but exciting and approachable option? Enter Wilson Creek, a designated Wild & Scenic River, located northwest of Lenoir, NC and part of Pisgah National Forest. While hiking in the area is certainly an option, many opt to fish the various sections, tributaries, and pools that define the 25 mile long stream. One of the most popular areas is a ‘Delayed Harvest Section’ which runs for 3.5 miles and is heavily stocked with rainbows, brook trout, and brown trout. Anglers are active throughout the year with various hatches and fish activity in the Spring, Summer, Fall & Winter seasons drawing them in.
So, regardless of your interest, ability, or time availability, residents of the Queen City have all of these options – and more – right in Charlotte’s backyard which will more than keep even the most active outdoors enthusiasts busy, not to mention those just ‘getting their feet wet’ in what North Carolina has to offer. And, with the ‘Jesse Brown’s Stamp-Of-Approval,’ anyone interested in hitting these trails, campsites, or waters, know that they can stop by Jesse Brown’s Outdoors located in the Sharon Corners area of SouthPark here in Charlotte, NC, to get advice, discuss their plans, pick the brains of the friendly staff, and as always find some necessities and gear to make the experience truly enjoyable.
About Jesse Brown’s Outdoors:
Jesse Brown’s Outdoors is an outdoor, fly-fishing, and travel outfitter located in the Sharon Corners area of SouthPark in Charlotte, NC. Since 1970, the experienced and knowledgeable staff of the Southeast’s oldest independently run outfitting store, has provided the best in adventure gear to generations of clients. Jesse Brown’s is a flagship store for brands such as Patagonia, Filson, & Barbour, and carries a wide selection of other favorites such as YETI, The North Face, Chaco, Columbia, Simms, Howler Brothers, OluKai, Maui Jim, Costa, and MANY more. Jesse Brown’s Outdoors is also home to Charlotte’s favorite Fly Shop, assisting clients in fly-fishing rod and reel purchases, offering fly casting guided trips and demonstration classes, and by stocking a wide variety of angling flies, accessories, and clothing. Jesse Brown’s is also home to Charlotte’s longest running radio program – the weekly ‘Carolina Outdoors’ WBT Radio Show (1110AM/99.3FM) & Podcast where the ‘Outdoor Guys’ round up stories from across the Carolinas, share outdoor activity ideas, and update listeners on interesting nature-specific happenings from around the nation. So, whether you are simply looking to get across town or campus in comfort and style, or are traveling around the globe or up the Appalachian Trail for a specific adventure, make sure to stop into Jesse Brown’s Outdoors to ensure that you are fully prepared and equipped to truly enjoy your experience.
Jesse Brown’s Outdoors
Sharon Corners at SouthPark
4732 Sharon Road, Suite 2M | Charlotte, NC
Adjusted Store Hours: Mon-Sat 10a-5p, Sunday – Closed