Explore Trail Challenge 2016 - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Trail Challenge 2016 Map
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Love this walk. My sister lives in the neighborhood and we walked it the other day!

Lovely little walk around the lake. Visiting from out of town and loved the historical information I learned at the parks information center.

Love this trail during the dog days of summer. Lots of shade and not too crowded.
Lots of roots along the path but that makes it fun! Will definitely go back again & again.

Wonderful trails with so much to see both man-made and natural. Fun to explore. Always clean and well taken care of. Beautiful area.

If you like the sound of airplanes and helicopters overhead almost constantly, a path so heavily trafficked you could drive a golf cart through it and being surrounded by people at all times this is for you. If you prefer the quiet of nature and only an occasional companion I'd skip it.

hiking
17 days ago

Beautiful 6 mile loop (approximately). Shaded the entire trail. Some nice elevation gains throughout. Sounds of the flowing river in the background. We had a blast!

hiking
25 days ago

Very busy trail on the south side of Umstead. It's pretty rustic so most of the time you're looking down to avoid stumbling over roots or rocks. I'm amazed how people run this trail with ease. In general, I favor the northern side of Umstead as they provide more solitude and are less rustic.

hiking
28 days ago

Umstead State Park added a loop behind (to the west side) of the visitors center for addtional parking, and it provides access to Sal's Branch Trail.

The loop is visible on Google maps.

road biking
1 month ago

Fantastic trail to ride. From Falls lake in north raleigh to Riverwood in Clayton (and eventually further). Can't wait for the continuation. I have ridden the full length and it has many variations, spots great for the family or weekend rider all the way to challenging hills for the serious rider. It also connects to several other popular trails. Careful of some bridges as they are beginning to show some age. As I write this, they are about to start repairs on one of the bigger bridges between Buffalo park and Anderson pointe. No detour, so plan accordingly. Otherwise, enjoy. It's definitely my favorite trail in the triangle.

trail running
1 month ago

Great trail , easy to do

1 month ago

Did this combined with symphony lake. Great hike, with easy walking. Recommend for any skill level.

hiking
1 month ago

Probably my favorite Umstead trail. 95% under the forest canopy, stays nice and cool even in the blazing summer heat which is wonderful for my dogs. Watch your step - lots and lots of tree roots.

Beautiful trail, well maitained. More rest areas with bathrooms would be great.

One of my favorite places to walk. The new NCMA Park is beautifully designed and welcoming. Plenty of paths/trails to walk on even when it’s busy. And you get to look at art for free! Only issue right now is that there are no restrooms outside, so when the museum is closed there are no restrooms in the park. Hopefully that will be fixed soon.

Good trail to walk for exercise. Not a hiking trail per-se as it is paved more like a park trail, but great for walking and running. The back part of the trail near I-440 gets intense with some pretty big hills so be prepared. Great views of the lake and woods.

hiking
1 month ago

Good moderate hike for varied ages and dogs. Well marked, well traveled, and very beautiful.

hiking
1 month ago

I went with my mom and dog I loved it

hiking
1 month ago

I took my son and my dog, it was a lot of fun to hike. It was also pretty scenery, especially hiking next to the creek. It was a good 6.3 miles starting at the Reedy Creek entrance parking lot and doing the entire company mill loop - very fun!

walking
1 month ago

Easy trail...the whole thing is either paved or wooden boardwalks. A lot of shade which is nice. Quite a few walkers, joggers and bike riders but the trail is long enough not to feel crowded.

1 month ago

Well marked trail. It pumps your heart rate up for a good work out. Pretty scenery and peaceful. Make sure you take your time to admire the creeks, and bridges.

Love this trail for hiking. NOTE: it has mountain biking incorrectly listed as an option for this trail. You cannot bike this trail, but there are other trails in Umstead Park for biking.

Puppy was scared of the bridge, but what a great view!

Beautiful spot. So near the airport but rarely heard planes. Lots of wildlife to be seen and heard. The loop was moderate as advertised. It was a welcome diversion after work!

2 months ago

Best sunsets in Raleigh! This is a fun jog/hike that doesn’t take much time at all. Weekends are always more heavily trafficked but that just means more dogs to pet.

hiking
2 months ago

Great spot to take the pups. Had tons of fun playing in the river and he got to see some squirrels as well!

hiking
2 months ago

Best 82 year birthday present ever from hiking buddy James. First time around loop counterclockwise. Back part along Sycamore Creek was a challenge. Recharged on downhill stroll back to iron bridge then huffed and puffed back up to parking lot. Thanks to all for such a treasure!

hiking
2 months ago

One of my favorite trails at Umstead. In general, the trails on the northern side of Umstead provide more solitude. If you arrive on the weekend, you'll see a parking lot full of vehicles but once you hit the trail, you'll find it not to be too busy. I'm convinced half of the hikers fall into a deep hole somewhere and oddly I'm okay with that as long as I'm not next. :) The trail is wide and easily passable. Not very rustic so you can enjoy the beauty surrounding you. Since the airport is nearby, you'll hear planes taking off. My doggy and I have seen deer here which excite him and the trail bypasses a small lake which brings in a couple fisherman. The visitors center is welcoming and provides a nice history on the park, restrooms, and sells shirts at a reasonable price.

Nice wooded trail. Will hike this trail again.

trail running
2 months ago

Well maintained trail, can take jogging strollers and dogs/kids friendly. Make sure to have the bug repellent on before start.

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