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The Twelve Mile Creek Trail, which runs northeast from Walnut Creek Park over the South Carolina/North Carolina state line to Waxhaw, is part of the Carolina Thread Trail—a growing trail network of more than 200 miles across North and South Carolina. Surrounded by trees and following its namesake creek, this trail offers a wooded paradise for anyone who loves the outdoors. Various surface types provide a vast array of activities for any nature-loving adventure seeker.
Currently, there are two trail segments separated by a short gap in the route in Waxhaw, NC. The southwest section is about 4.5 miles and the northeast section is 1.6 miles.
Starting from Walnut Creek Park at its southern-most end, the trail meanders along the Twelve Mile Creek and through the neighborhood of Walnut Creek. The trail entrance is located at the northwest corner of the park and continues along the southeast bank of the creek.
Walnut Creek Park (10521 Walnut Creek Pkwy, Lancaster) has baseball fields, tennis courts, pickle ball courts, playgrounds soccer fields and plenty of parking. There is a large, covered picnic shelter and a park office building with restrooms and concessions. The Twelve Mile Creek Trail will eventually provide the scenic backdrop for a new residential and commercial development. The Walnut Creek subdivision is a planned development district consisting of over 900 acres which has been approved for 2,000 homes, 10 acres of future retail and commercial development and a 61-acre county park.
For about 3.7 miles, the route has a natural surface with sections of boardwalk in the wetter areas and a few bridges. The trail crosses over the water via the Carrington Drive Bridge and continues on the northwest bank of the creek. About a half mile after the bridge but before the next one, a spur trail splits off the main route and heads north through the woods for about 0.4 miles. Known as the Walnut Creek Blue Trail, this short path has a natural surface and ends at 79205 Ridgehaven Rd, Lancaster across from Carrington Park.
At the state line, the route reaches the Cross-State Suspension Bridge, a 170-foot pedestrian bridge that spans the creek. After crossing the bridge into North Carolina, the trail is also known as the Twelve Mile Creek Greenway and briefly continues as a natural surface trail until it crosses the road at 1523 Millbridge Pkwy. Signage at this waypoint refers to the trail as the Carolina Thread Trail, because it is included that trail network. There is also a pet waste bag station here.
On the east side of Millbridge Pkwy, the trail continues with a wide, paved surface that makes for a smooth ride. Winding along the creek for about a mile, the trail forks with the northern branch crossing a bridge over the creek to connect to H.C. Nesbit Park and the western branch coming to an end around 2839 Creekview Drive. The Millbridge Trailhead for the Twelve Mile Creek Greenway is located at H.C. Nesbit Park (1304 H C Nesbit Park Rd, Waxhaw). Situated in Millbridge's residential community and adjacent to Kensington Elementary School, the park has baseball fields, softball fields, multi-purpose fields, lit fields, and picnic tables.
The northeast section of the trail picks up a little further north at Town Creek Park (4240 Waxhaw-Marvin Rd, Waxhaw) and is paved with asphalt. The 19-acre community park has restrooms, a playground, an open grassy field, a pavilion with picnic tables, and a little free library. From the park, the trail follows the creek through the woods in the Prescot neighborhood to 7923 Prescott Glen Pkwy, Waxhaw. The paved trail is likely navigable for people using mobility aids and families with strollers. Eventually, this section of the trail will connect to the future Millbridge subdivision trails to the west in Lancaster, S.C. and the southwest segment of the Twelve Mile Creek Trail.
Parking is available at a number of locations along the trail. View the TrailLink map for all options and detailed directions. Parking locations include Walnut Creek Park (10521 Walnut Creek Parkway, Lancaster), H.C. Nesbit Park (1304 H C Nesbit Park Rd, Waxhaw), and Town Creek Park (4240 Waxhaw-Marvin Rd, Waxhaw).
Access is available at multiple points along the trail, including Carrington Drive and Millbridge Parkway for people on foot or bike.
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