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Cabarrus Magazine

Perfect Picnic Spots in Cabarrus County & Beyond

Jul 06, 2018 05:37PM ● By Melanie Heisinger
Getting outdoors is one of the best parts about the summer. Enjoying the sun, spending time with your family, and maybe cooling off somewhere like the local pool. What makes it even better? A picnic!

One of the best ways to enjoy the outdoors with family and friends are picnics. There are some great local farmers markets, like the Piedmont Farmers Market or the Kannapolis Farmers Market, where you can grab some tasty local goods before heading out. 

Last year, we covered Top 7 Places to Cool Off in & Around Cabarrus County, and it has some great ideas for local swimming spots. Consider picnicking near one of these great spots, it could even be fun to picnic next to the Camp T.N. Spencer Park Pool or Concord City Pool

Below we cover a few fun spots to picnic, thanks to the ideas from our Facebook followers. Though most sites listed are not in Cabarrus County area, they are in nearby counties and were recommended to us. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do! 

Read on to find your next favorite spot.

Frank Liske Park


Though this was included in the article mentioned above, it was worth noting again due to several recommendations from our Facebook followers

Located in the central part of Cabarrus County, this beautiful 238 acre park used to be a working farm for Stonewall Jackson Training School. Park amenities include a 10 acre lake for fishing and paddle boating, horseshoe pits, volleyball courts, playgrounds, 6 lighted tennis courts, and so much more. And, of course, picnic sites and shelters.

Michelle Torres told us that the perfect place to picnic is "the hill overlooking the lake." 

What's your favorite Frank Liske Park spot?

Village Park Splash Pad


Though also included in the aforementioned article, the Splash Pad in Kannapolis is not only still worth mentioning, but was recommended by one of our Facebook followers, Kimberly Horton. The Splash Pad is an aquatic recreation feature that offers endless combinations of interactive play through water that is sprayed, dumped, and poured from the play products that create the play equipment. It's is designed for users of all age groups and abilities and although there are various types of play that require different levels of developmental skills, water is still the main element of fun.

Luckily, the Splash Pad is located in Village Park, which offers an amphitheater, walking trail, the Rotary Express train, playground, picnic shelters, and open space. Each weekend throughout the summer, the park comes to life with the Kannapolis Summer Entertainment Series. Free, family-friendly events that includes live arts, concerts, movies, and storytelling. It has a little something for everyone. 

When a heat wave comes to town, stop by the Splash Pad to cool off and pick a spot to picnic at one of the many benches around, claim a spot inside the picnic shelter, or snag a comfy spot on the grass. 

Vietnam Veterans Park


The Vietnam Veterans park in Concord is a serene recreation area with a duck pond, disc-golf course, play areas, sport courts, and picnic areas. Also, recommended by Horton, there are plenty of spots to settle down and picnic. 

This 90 acre park offers a relaxing place to get away and is perfect for more passive recreational pursuits. The park opened in 2002 as the result of a cooperative effort with Cabarrus County, the City of Kannapolis, and the Church of God Children’s Home. 

The park's play structure makes this spot a perfect place to bring the kids. 

Dorton Park

Courtesy of Chelia S. on Yelp.


This 24 acre park in Concord has tennis courts, playground equipment, soccer fields, disc golf course, 1.1 mile gravel walking trail, 3 picnic shelters, restrooms and concession stand.

The 3 different picnic shelters each offer access to a different part of the park, the first with the most picnic tables and a grill, the second with less picnic tables and no grill, and the third near the tennis courts. All have electricity. 

Dorton Park also offers a 9 hole disc golf course for beginner and intermediate play. The course is free and open to the public. What a perfect form of picnic entertainment! 

Jetton Park

Courtesy of Lynda Ann.


Just a quick drive away to Cornelius, North Carolina is the beautiful Jetton Park. This tree-covered 104-acre park is nestled on Lake Norman, boasting a small beach, tennis courts, a trail and a picnic area. The park also hosts weddings or parties with a gazebo near the water as well as their Waterfront Hall.

Lynda Ann, who recommended this spot and sent us the photo above, said, "Jetton Park is my all time favorite."

Set up at the picnic area that overlooks the lake, or lay in the beach-like sand for an island-feel. Whatever you are looking for in a picnic, Jetton park has it. 

Morrow Mountain State Park

Courtesy of


Morrow Mountain State Park is a state park in Stanly County, North Carolina. Whether it’s hiking, camping, paddling, fishing, horseback riding, swimming or just taking in scenery on one of the highest points in the piedmont, Morrow Mountain has it all.

More than 15 miles of hiking trails and 16 miles of bridle trails thread the park, reaching from the summit of Morrow Mountain to Lake Tillery, where a boathouse offers canoes and rowboats for rent and bait for fishing.

There is also a family campground with 106 sites for tents, trailers and RVs is close by a swimming pool with bathhouse. 

When we asked where a good picnic spot was, Grant Eagle told us, "Anytime to the top of Morrow Mountain." It was this suggestion that lead us to explore this spot. What a great treat to have a picnic at the end of a hike! Would you do that? 

Head to to find the right trail to explore for your next picnic. 

Badin Lake Recreation Area

Courtesy of

Badin Lake Recreation Area, located in the Uwharrie National Forest of Montgomery County, is a focal point for campers, hikers, anglers, hunters, boaters, swimmers and, most importantly, picnickers. King's Mountain Point day-use area has picnic sites, swimming beach, fishing piers and four campgrounds. 

There are also several campsites throughout the UNF area, varying in primitivity, and are free! There are some right by the lake, as well. The Badin Lake Campground offers 34 sites for tent, camping trailer or RV camping. There are several campsites on the lakeshore of Badin Lake, which can be accessed via boat, canoe, or kayak. 

Grant Eagle's response to our inquiry when it comes to picnicking was, "Sitting beside the water at Badin Lake at old Alcoa plant. There are picnic tables there and if the mood hits you, you can take a swim at the swim area. Best of all it's a picnic and a fishing pole."

Find the right spot to picnic, maybe right by the lake, and enjoy! 

Reedy Creek Park

Courtesy of Jeff S. on Yelp.


Just outside the Cabarrus border is Reedy Creek Park in Charlotte, NC. This 146 acre park boasts  a Lakeside Meadow, 2 softball fields, a soccer field, a dog park, 4 volleyball courts, a Community garden, an18-hole disc golf course, 3 ponds, 9 outdoor picnic shelters,
1 indoor picnic shelter, and so much more. 

It is also just across from the Reedy Creek Nature Center, which has10 miles of hiking trails located in the adjacent 727-acre nature preserve.

So, to say there were plenty of spots to picnic would be an understatement. 

"We always liked Reedy Creek but it is in Charlotte right outside the Cabarrus border," Facebook follower Keith Laibson wrote. "What we liked best was had lots of trees and shade."

Whether you want a spot by a pond, or want to hike to a spot in the woods, Reedy Creek has all you're looking for. And bring your dog, too!

North Carolina Zoo

Courtesy of


Located just south of Asheboro, the North Carolina Zoo is seated on a 2,200-acre tract of land in the Uwharrie Mountains. Approximately 500 acres of this property have been developed into the largest "natural habitat" zoo in the United States. 

Intended to mimic the natural wildlife living spaces of each animal, don't expect to find any big metal cages at this conservation. The North Carolina Zoo has designated free public picnic areas located outside the ticket booths in the Akiba Market (Africa) and North America Plaza.

"I also enjoyed packing a picnic and going to Asheboro Zoo," Sarah Shepardson Laney said. "Great day trip."

Enjoy it year-round, and plan to picnic before or after your visit! Plus, there will be animals.

When all is said and done, sometimes the best place is to picnic at home, or in Nan's backyard, as Sheila Shogan noted when answering our picnic question. 

We want to know, what is your favorite picnic spot? 

Explore the events, scenery and history of Morrow Mountain State Park

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