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Winding through the heart of South End along the light rail tracks, the Rail Trail is a 3.5-mile linear public park that connects the community together and provides access to restaurants, breweries, bars, shops, public art and more. The popular urban trail brings the culture and character of Charlotte to life through its eclectic art, pop-up performances, creative hangout spots and some of the best people watching in the city.

Our partners love it too, and there's always something new going on with our I Heart Rail Trail initiative. 

The I Heart Rail Trail initiative is a partnership between the Charlotte Rail Trail, Charlotte Center City Partners and U.S. Bank. The program will feature events large and small to activate the Rail Trail and enhance the experience of this 3.5-mile linear park. 

The partnership between U.S. Bank and the Charlotte Rail Trail is part of U.S. Bank’s Community Possible program. U.S. Bank's unified giving and engagement strategy Community Possible focuses on closing the gaps between people and possibility in the areas of Work, Home and Play. The bank believes the building blocks of all thriving communities where all things are possible include stable employment opportunities, a home to call your own, and a community connected through culture, arts, recreation, and play.

Check out what kind of cool stuff is happening on the Rail Trail. 

I Heart Rail Trail: Lights 

The annual I Heart Rail Trail: Lights Festival will be back in 2022! Check out details from the 2021 installations.

I Heart Rail Trail: Lights, presented by U.S. Bank, is back and bigger this year. From February 19 – March 7, the Rail Trail will celebrate local art with these never-before-seen, interactive light installations. There’s no better way to experience South End. Stroll down the Rail Trail, enjoy one-of-a-kind art, take the perfect photo, grab a bite to eat or a drink and do it all again the next day. The installation footprint will span from Carson Blvd. to Atherton Mill. 

Use the art locations to plan your stroll through South End:
o    Light Beans by Luvly Moon - 1100 South plaza (at the apartment splash pad) 
o    Threads by Kit Kube – Charlotte Urban Design Center plaza (1507 Camden Road)
o    Covid Confessionals by Rachel Dickey – Dimensional plaza (1515 S. Tryon)
o    Lover’s Lighthouse by Sharon Dowell & Chris Holston – 1616 “Coop” (1616 Camden Rd. above Leroy Fox) 
o    Seating ReArrangements by Ellie Richards – Dilworth Artisan Station Plaza (118 E. Kingston Ave.) 
o    Fairy Ring by Meredith Connelly – Atherton Plaza (2102 South Blvd.)  

As part of this unique experience, guests will be able to enjoy music, performers, and more surprises along the way. All attendees are encouraged to interact with the art but also to remember the three W’s: wait 6 feet apart, wash your hands and wear your masks.

For the 2021 I Heart Rail Trail: Lights, Center City Partners collaborated with Lauren Harkey, owner/director of Hodges Taylor, an art consulting firm and gallery based in South End. Harkey worked as an independent curator to facilitate the project, from creating the call to artists to consulting on the nuts and bolts of each installation.

Tag us in your pictures @SouthEndCLT and use the hashtags #IHeartRailTrial #RailTrailCLT #CommunityPossible #usbank