dogs on leash
Tucked between the growing cities of Raleigh, Cary, Durham and the corporate world of Research Triangle Park is an oasis of tranquility, a peaceful havenWilliam B. Umstead State Park. Here, two worlds merge as the sounds of civilization give way to the unhurried rhythm of nature. Highways fade in the distance as trees, flowers, birds and streams form a more natural community. William B. Umstead is a place to escape the pressures of everyday life, a place to picnic in the pines, to wait for a fish to bite, to take a hike or horseback ride on trails through the woods. Divided into two sections, Crabtree Creek and Reedy Creek, this 5,579-acre park is easily accessible from Interstate 40 and US 70. Visit William B. Umstead State Park and enjoy this region of wilderness at the city's doorstep.
Brought the dog with us and had a great time. If you bring a dog BRING WATER! There are some little streams for them to drink but not enough, especially for the older dogs. The elevation changes are enough to be a moderate challenge but nothing crazy. Trail has lots of roots to trip on so watch your ankles. I'd suggest hiking boots, although we hiked it in regular running shoes. Not too hot, as entire trail is shaded. Lots of other hikers and dogs on the trail so if your pup isn't fond of other dogs it may not be a great idea considering the trail is very narrow at certain points. Took us a over 2 hours, and that was going at a slow pace once puppy started getting worn out last mile or two. Definitely a worthwhile hike- fun and not too strenuous at all.
Gretchen L. on Company Mill Loop
A pretty hike and dog friendly.
The elevation changes, creek and bridges make it interesting. Some parts of the trail were flat and smooth. But, most parts had tree roots and rocks. So, most of the time you have to watch where you are stepping. Overall, a very well maintained trail.
The trailhead has a large parking lot, bathrooms, water fountains and a map of the trails. Also a nearby picnic shelter.
At 7:30 am there already were a lot of people including a high school cross country team. But, not everyone was headed on the same trail. So, although the trail is popular, it's long enough that people were spread out.
About 3/4 mile into the hike you start the looping portion by going right or left. We went left and hiked clockwise which meant we ended the hike near a nice access point to the creek where the dogs could cool off.
At about two miles, the trail intersects with Reedy Creek Trail and you have the option of taking this wide, flat trail as a cut through and shaving about a mile off the hike.
Do not try to follow the loop on this trail map! The last part of the loop that runs from Loblolly Trail back to the Reedy Creek Multi-use Traill does not exist. There is no trail along the western edge of Reedy Creek Lake. Even though the map said that I was right on the trail, there was no trail in sight and I had to hike through knee-high vegetation along the edge of the lake in order to get back to the bridge on the Multi-use trail. If you do want to attempt this route, stay on Loblolly Trail until you get back to the access road or parking lot
This is actually Sal's Branch trail. Just follow the orange dots and signs for Sal's Branch. Great hike that's mostly in the woods and briefly by the lake. The only tricky part was when you get to the gravel lot on the first or last leg just walk across the lot and look for a sign. The first time cars were blocking the sign and I mistakenly walked to the paved road.
Malia B. on Company Mill Loop
This trail was a great hike. It has enough challenge by way of elevation, and differing scenery to remain interesting. The actual trail is well maintained and well marked with orange squares.
We also visited during Labor Day weekend, and it was really busy! All parking stalls were occupied, and many, like us, brought their dog(s). We ran into many people on the trail, but it thinned out when we took a right along the river (after crossing it). That is a beautiful spot to sit and enjoy nature's beauty.
We only went half way and took another trail, but I will be returning to do the whole loop. Our dog loved the trail, and really loved running it. I give this trail a stumble rating of 3/5. Lots of natural ground to hike over.
Overall, a great trail! I hope the airport doesn't take over this land and get rid of this gem!
Malia B. on Reedy Creek Trail Loop
We started this hike at the intersection of Company Mill trail. We wanted to see the dam. As soon as we started, the road was very busy with bikers, but it was wide enough for all. This road is still shaded, and is curvy. It leads down to the dam, and out the park to the asphalt road and back to the parking lot. I think if you are a biker, this is an amazing trail. For hikers, the Company Mill trail was much more authentic.
This trail is very well kept and "moderate" is an excellent measure if dufficulty. However, it is worth noting that this is a lollipop course. So, the loop itself is around 6 mi., but its a mile or more to get to loop itself.
This is a heavily traveled trail. We passed or ran into people constantly on the way in and once on loop itself the traffic thinned. As a disclaimer, we were there on Labor Day Weekend and the add'l traffic on a gorgeous day was somewhat expected.
The woods are amazing and there are several places to stop and grab a bite next to the creek. Overall...Highly recommend it if you can deal with a few extra people.