Freedom Park is one of the best parks in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Nestled between Charlotte's Myers Park and Dilworth neighborhoods at 1908 East Blvd, Charlotte, NC 28203, this 98 acre park includes a 7 acre lake. It's easily one of the most beautiful and most serene spots in Charlotte.
I attended college at Queen's University of Charlotte, just a few minutes walking distance from Freedom Park. Freedom Park is one of the most fun things to do around Queens University of Charlotte campus. My friends and I would often walk there for picnics, feeding the birds, or just getting away from campus for a few minutes.
Here are the best 5 things to do with your time in Freedom Park.
1. Walk your dog
Dog walking is one of the best ways to meet people in Charlotte. Dog culture is huge here. From the increasingly trendy doodle mixes to the scrappy mixed breeds picked up at a local rescue, everyone in Charlotte seems to love bringing their dog on their daily adventures.
Taking your dog for a stroll through Freedom Park is a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon. The park provides plenty of dog bowls where your pup can rehydrate if needed.
Are dogs allowed off-leash at Freedom Park? The answer is technically no. Mecklenburg County Parks and Recreation does not include Freedom Park as one of its designated off-leash dog parks. This is because off-leash dog parks in Mecklenburg County must be fenced in, and children under 12 are not allowed in off-leash areas of dog parks. That doesn't mean some people (or many people) don't violate that rule. But for the safety of your dog, other dogs, and other park visitors, you should keep your dog leashed in Freedom Park.
2. Hang out on the bridge
Charlotte has a few hidden gems, but the rope bridge in Freedom Park is one of my favorites.
Picture this: you and your date leaning up against the side of the rope bridge, surrounded by shady, green trees, enjoying each other's company while staring deeply into each other's eyes. OK, I know that's a little cheesy, but sometimes cheesy is good.
Where exactly is the rope bridge in Freedom Park? Well, if I told you, it wouldn't be a hidden gem would it? It's not very hard to find, but half of the fun is exploring the park and discovering its location for yourself. Who knows what other hidden gems you might find along the way.
3. Listen to live music
There's no form of entertainment I love more than live music. I don't care if it's a local band playing heavy metal in a dive bar or a dad band covering 80s songs in a brewery. If there's singing and guitars, I'm there.
Freedom Park is no different. The park hosts several yearly events featuring live music. The biggest and most exciting is Festival in the Park. It's a celebration of art and music that's taken place at Freedom Park since 1964. Over 85,000 people attend the festival each year and enjoy art walks, galleries, and of course music.
The 58th annual Festival in the Park will take place this year on September 16, 17, and 18, 2022.
4. Watch the ducks in the lake
It's undeniably relaxing to watch ducks and geese and other water foul swim by in a peaceful lake on a sunny day.
Don't get too close to them though. Lots of people have stories about aggressive geese bullying them. I myself have been witness to a mean goose chasing a friend of mine when I was in college. Although it was hilarious, you probably don't want it to happen to you.
Should you feed the ducks in Freedom Park? The answer is it depends. Bread is the go-to snack most people consider when feeding ducks, but it's apparently not healthy for their digestive system, as it offers no nutritional value. It's probably better to just watch them rather than feed them.
5. Go for a jog
Jogging outdoors is a healthy and enjoyable hobby. I mean, like, for you, not for me. But my friends who love running say Freedom Park is one of their favorite spots to go for a jog. Several popular running and biking loops go through the park. No matter the weather (according to the guy in the picture above), there's never a bad time for a jog in Freedom Park.
Is it safe to jog in Freedom Park? Safety is extremely important for runners, especially women. Luckily, Freedom Park appears to be a relatively safe place to jog. According to Crime Mapping data, very little criminal activity is reported in and around the park. There have been a handful of vehicle break-ins reported, and one non-aggravated assault incident, but it seems the park is likely safe.