Warmer weather will follow the patches of green and colorful flowers popping up all over Charlotte. When it does, you’ll be ready to spend time outdoors – walking, jogging and biking. Charlotte’s greenways and trails offer a unique way to see the city.

Take one of these trails leading to Uptown:

Irwin Creek and Stewart Creek Greenways

This 2.9-mile paved portion of Mecklenburg County’s greenway system connects Charlotte’s West End to Third Ward and is part of the Carolina Thread Trail.

Irwin Creek Greenway at Frazier Park

Parking: 215 N. Sycamore St., 1123 Greenleaf Ave., 3204 Manchester Dr., 2964 Barringer Dr., 1960 Lela Ave. or 1704 Freedom Dr.

Do: Head to Ray’s Splash Planet’s indoor pool and water slides. Stop at Frazier Park to play basketball and tennis or take advantage of the children’s playground and dog park.

Eat, drink and shop: Rest your weary self in Wesley Heights’ Blue Blaze Brewery’s rocking chairs or eat a gyro at Little Village Grill near Johnson & Wales University. Stay in Third Ward to eat at Draught and grab dessert at Potts Chocolate.

Connections: Connects with Little Sugar Creek Greenway’s Midtown Section by the Stonewall Street and Charlottetown Avenue sidewalks.

Little Sugar Creek Greenway: Urban Section

There are 4.17 miles of paved greenway beginning at 7th Street and continuing to Park Road Shopping Center.

Parking: 1116 Metropolitan Ave., 1421 E. Morehead St., Freedom Park, 1656 Sterling Rd. and find on-street parking at Westfield Rd. between Tranquil Avenue and Brandywine Road.

Do: Freedom Park is a stopping point for picnics, an impromptu game of volleyball or a timed race at Carolina Panthers Play 60 Kidzone.

Freedom Park

See: Find statues and sculptures along the way.

Eat, drink and shop: Enjoy brunch on Vivace’s outdoor terrace before you head out on your adventure. Pick up the week’s produce at King’s Drive Farmer’s Market (opens April 6, 2018) or grab some food and drink at Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar or Kid Cashew on East Boulevard, just a few minutes’ walk from the greenway.

Connections: Use the Charlottetowne Avenue and Stonewall Street sidewalks to meet up with the Irwin Creek and Stewart Creek Greenways.

Rail Trail

The Rail Trail runs adjacent to the LYNX Blue Line through South End and Uptown. It starts just south of New Bern Street, near the New Bern Station, and continues for three and a half miles to 12th Street, with a gap over I-277. This paved trail features sculptures, art, seating and interactive interludes along its path. Unlike the greenways, the Rail Trail has been mostly built out through private redevelopment of adjacent properties and funded through private businesses and grants.

Do: Look for the Rail Trail Symphony near the New Bern Station, Edna’s Porch with swings and city views at Carson Street Station and recently added Fowler Porch, with a yellow see-saw made from a steel beam.

Edna’s Porch

See: Look out for murals, sculptures and lighted displays along the trail. Check out The Duke Energy Substation Beacon Tower Illumination near the Bland Street Station and the Magic Carpet Murals, close to the 3rd Street and Convention Center Station.

Eat, drink and shop: Futo Buta and Pike’s Old Fashion Soda Shop offer outdoor dining. Grab a craft beer at Sycamore Brewing or Hyde Brewing. Blue Hem, 704 Shop, The Ultra Running Company and Girl Tribe are a short distance from the trail.

Connections: Take the sidewalk on South Boulevard to 12th Street and connect with the Little Sugar Creek Greenway at 12th Street.

Little Sugar Creek Greenway from Cordelia Park to 12th Street

This newest portion of the greenway system is part of the Cross Charlotte Trail and a county and city government project. It is a little under a mile long and has paved and wooden surfaces on the bridges. The path meanders through the Belmont, Villa Heights and Optimist Park neighborhoods on a wooded path.

Parking: 2100 N. Davidson St, 745 E. 12th St. or 624 Parkwood Ave.

Do: Stop in Cordelia Park and visit the pavilion with an expected April 2018 opening. During the summer, take a dip in Cordelia Pool, open Memorial Day through Labor Day.

Cordelia Park

See: Pass by a community garden, travel over small pedestrian bridges and check out the sculpture at the corner of Parkwood Avenue and N. Davidson Street.

Eat, drink and shop: Play pinball and grab a PBR at Abari Game Bar. Wander off the greenway to Belmont Avenue to reach Birdsong Brewery and McGill Rose Garden.

Connections: Walk north on 12th Street to connect to the Rail Trail.

Photos: Courtesy of Charlotte Center City Partners, Vanessa Infanzon, Nancy Pierce Documentary Photographer, Charlotte Observer file