Charlotte suburb extends health benefits and beauty among its flora and fauna

Tucked away in the Charlotte suburbs, Belmont, N.C. has grown to become a delightful destination for escaping the hustle and bustle, steeping oneself in the blossoming environment and connecting with the beauty and benefits of nature. And as COVID-19 effects continue in North Carolina, there’s no better time to experience the peaceful excitement of recreation in our quaint city.

Whether it’s “quarantine fatigue” or a simple desire to reconnect with the great outdoors, Belmont shares its many recreational opportunities with families, friends, passersby and individuals needing a nature-filled break. Cooler temperatures in the southern United States usher in perfect moments for fresh air, family activities and necessary exercise – and Belmont, N.C., is a superb suburb for doing just that. From casual walks through the historic downtown to adventures along the Catawba River or Carolina Thread Trail, our Charlotte-area city extends ample beauty alongside movement and play as well as occasions for improving mental health.

Places to explore in Belmont include:
• Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden – Find 300 acres of lush land featuring seasonal blooms and colorful walkways. The Garden recently reopened to the public with extended hours open to members. This destination also boasts its Persimmon Trail, a half-mile short trail that is part of the Seven Oaks Preserve Trail (this trail is available without Garden admission).
• Seven Oaks Preserve Trail – At 2.8 miles with moderate difficulty, hike or bike down this longest continuous trail along Lake Wylie. Its pathways are part of the Carolina Thread Trail and connect to trails at the Garden.
• Rocky Branch Park – In the heart of Belmont, Rocky Branch boasts 40 acres, which includes a four-mile trail for hikers and cyclists.
• Anchored Soul – This Belmont-based business offers standup paddle boarding rentals and lessons to Lake Wylie watergoers of all skill levels.
• South Fork River Blueway – This 8.4-mile segment of the South Fork River welcomes kayaking and slow moving paddles among other activities. There are numerous launches across Gaston County, including one at South Fork Village in Belmont.

The renowned Mayo Clinic shared ways to cope with anxiety, worry and social distancing during the ongoing pandemic. Regular physical activity was recommended in addition to “relax and recharge” techniques. Nature is an ideal medicine for just this; according to Harvard Men’s Health Watch, numerous researched studies indicate a
positive relationship between mood improvement and escaping outside. Notes published research from the university, “It appears that interacting with natural spaces offers other therapeutic benefits. For instance, calming nature sounds and even outdoor silence can lower blood pressure and levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which
calms the body’s fight-or-flight response.”

As October begins, our recreational opportunities remain open at this time, welcoming adventurers from near and far for improved mental health, increased activity and abundant sightseeing.

“We’ve shared al fresco dining and noticed more and more people discovering our local parks,” said Jim Hoffman, chairman of the Belmont Tourism Development Authority. “We look forward to cooler weeks, changing leaves and the brisk air that brings locals and visitors to our city’s trails, parks and sidewalks.”

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