Inside Latta Plantation Nature Preserve

Latta Plantation Nature Preserve Detail

Make a day of it and experience all that Latta Plantation Nature Preserve has to offer. Hike, canoe, ride horses, tour historic homes and don't forget to bring a picnic. Photo by Evelyn McCorkle.

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Latta Plantation Nature Preserve is Mecklenburg County's largest nature preserve and protects over 1,343 acres of natural communities including the Beatties Ford Basic Forest natural heritage site.

Latta Plantation Nature Preserve

The Preserve forms a green peninsula extending into Mountain Island Lake, the drinking water source for over 700,000 residents in Mecklenburg and Gaston counties. Its diversity of natural communities includes upland and bottom land hardwood forests, open fields, streams, and a Piedmont Prairie restoration site protecting the federally endangered Schweinitz's sunflower and Michaux's sumac. The Preserve is part of the Mountain Island Lake Important Bird Area, designated by the National Audubon Society due to its diversity of wintering waterfowl, breeding and migratory songbird species, and protection of bottom land hardwood forests, a threatened natural community in North Carolina.

Latta Plantation Nature Center

Latta Plantation Nature Center features live, native animals, a discovery hall, an outdoor amphitheater, and a gift shop. Outside, visitors can stop and observe nature in action at the National Wildlife Federation certified Backyard Habitat Garden which includes bird feeding stations, butterfly gardens, garden pond, and demonstration compost area. Self-interpretive trail guides are available for several nature preserve trails.

Latta Plantation Nature Preserve offers endless opportunities for outdoor recreation. Canoe and kayak enthusiasts will find two landing areas that provide access to Gar Creek and Mountain Island Lake. Numerous fishing opportunities are available. Anglers ages 16 and older must have a NC State Fishing License.

For more information or to register for programs, call the Nature Center at (704) 875-1391. Nature Center hours are Mon. – Sat., 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sun., 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Historic Latta Plantation

Historic Latta Plantation is a circa 1800 cotton plantation and living history farm, located within Latta Plantation Nature Preserve. Tours of the Latta home are guided, and tours of the grounds are self-guided. For more information, visit their website. For a calendar of events, click here.

Rural Hill Plantation

Rural Hill is a historic site, nature preserve, field trip destination, cultural events site, farm, and all around great place to get away from one’s daily stresses in life. Bring your students to experience excellence during their fascinating and unique educational programs focusing on history, science, creative thinking, reading, and even math! Stop by and enjoy the solitude of nature that only 265 secluded acres can provide while hiking their extensive network of trails. Visit Rural Hill Plantation and feel the rush of communal excitement with several thousand new friends at one of our cultural events. Step back in time as you step through our cabin’s doorway, smelling the delicious smells of food cooking over an open hearth. Hear the ringing of the blacksmith’s hammer, the chop of the woodworker’s adze, and the blast of the militiaman’s musket. For more information, visit their website.