Malia B. on Lake Crabtree Loop Trail
On a beautiful NC day (late summer) I took my favorite hiking buddy Nui (my fearless dog) and we set out to discover this hidden gem. I wanted to take the lake trail, but was distracted with the nature trail. Quickly, we backtracked, and found the trailhead beyond a grassy area by the parking lot. At first, the yellow flowers made it almost magical, but the trail changed, and we walked alongside (literally) a main road, with only a thin path and a rock dam. Eventually, we walked into the woods with multiple boardwalks walking behind buildings (MetLife). A little strange. A few grassy clearings, and over a piped creek (I think we missed a path), we ended up in the woods again. We found some great steps taking the path up to higher elevation (slight). After crossing a couple bridges, the path turned into asphalt, where a lovely overlook to the lake was constructed. This was about 3.5 miles in. The next area was actually closed (?) for construction, but I wasn't turning back. The next part was a path that allowed both hikers and bikers to share. We only came across two bikers. This part of the path was not as well marked as the rest, and I lost the path, resulting in just using the main road to return to my car. Overall, I enjoyed the loop and even though it was very noisy by the main roads, it was not a boring hike. I believe it was just over 6 miles. A good workout, especially for my hiking buddy-who is passed out in the back of the car as I write this!
I customized the trail to keep it under 5 miles and to avoid traffic on Aviation Parkway. I started at the first parking lot at the Crabtree Lake park and walked to the trailhead at Old Reedy Creek road and turned back. It is a good trail. A lot of cyclists use this trail. Quite some road noise while nearing the Old Ready Creek trailhead. Otherwise the lake views are great.