Ballantyne Magazine

SUMMER 2019

Ballantyne Magazine covers news, events, real estate, restaurants, shopping, health, schools and business in the upscale Ballantyne Area of Charlotte, NC.

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enters behind Pike's Nursery on his bike, but he also loves to walk it whenever he can. "I try to take 10,000 steps every day," he says. Ernestine Swann enjoys power walking with friends. "I used to come with a group training for half marathons because this greenway was the perfect length," she says. Wildlife observations are notably abundant along boardwalk paths that wander through wetlands and swamp forests, a favorite habitat of songbirds. Crane, an avid bird- watcher, recommends the greenway tours given by Bird House on the Greenway at The Shops at Piper Glen. "People don't realize how much great wildlife is along this greenway," he says enthusiastically. "Their late- winter Owl Prowl tour at night is very cool." During summertime, the shop conducts Frog Walks at dusk. "The tours are a lot of fun and great for kids of all ages," says Carol Buie- Jackson, owner of the shop. "We see more than just frogs — deer, bunnies, beaver and muskrat. We never know who will show up. In late June, the firefly show is also spectacular. You look up, and the whole sky is sparkling with lightning bugs." Ballantyne District Park Many may not realize there is a mountain biking trail in Ballantyne District Park. Located behind Morrison Family YMCA, Ballantyne's newest public park features 91 acres with four lighted baseball/softball fields and one soccer field, picnic shelter and restroom, as well as a three-loop mountain biking trail initiated by community volunteers and students and installed by the Tarheel Trailblazers. "We constructed it thanks to donations from members and NC Velo bike shop in Blakeney," says Bryan Hall, president of the Tarheel Trailblazers, noting that the three sections — Flow Loop, Fields Loop and Tech Loop — are each around a mile and increase in difficulty. "With donations, we plan to add more advanced features to the trail," he adds. Doug Beehler, who lives close by, likes to ride the trail with his brother- in-law. "We come often because it's convenient and you can do a quick ride in a short period of time," he says. Ballantyne-area resident Jay Camp brought daughters Annabelle and Lily for the first time this spring. "We liked it because you go through different forests," he says. "It was like riding a rollercoaster," Annabelle adds. "The trail was so pretty. You can cruise up and down hills." Entrance to the beginner loop is off the gravel parking lot near the Community House Road roundabout. Elon Park This 118-acre green space behind Elon Park Elementary School on Ardrey Kell Road has a lot to offer for outdoor enthusiasts, starting with four artificial turf soccer fields, a youth softball field and a fishing pond. But the two 18-hole disc golf courses are one of its biggest draws. The Eager Beaver Course for beginners has two sets of pads (tees), a favorite with families who arrive with the family dog to walk the holes and get some exercise. The mountain biking trail at Ballantyne District Park includes three loops, each about a mile long and increasing in difficulty. Jay Camp and his daughters, Annabelle and Lily, enjoy riding here. Ballantyne District Park BALLANTYNE SUMMER 2019 44 Feature

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