Explore the most popular hiking trails in William B. Umstead State Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Great day for a hike, went down Company Mill Spur from the Harrison entrance to Umstead, crossed the bridge and started the loop counterclockwise. Took the 1 mile shortcut via the Reedy Creek crushed gravel multi-use trail and rejoined the Company Mill at the top of the big hill, where there are nice benches near a historic graveyard for water, a snack and a quick rest. Nice trail for trailrunners, dog walkers, and children, seems a bit crowded on the weekends. Upon the return went over to the dam area and spotted a 5 foot long water snake sunning on a rock. Although I've been on this trail many times, there always seems to see something new to see on this trail, one of if not the most popular trail in Umstead State Park.

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!

hiking
5 days 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
9 days 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!

Really good workout, tackled this from the Harrison Road entrance, starting at the far end of the first parking lot to the left. Down hill to Crabtree Creek, then went clockwise up Company Mill trail to the stone bridge on the Graylyn trail, and crossed over to take the Sycamore Loop counter-clockwise and back to the bridge and back out Company Mill. Lots of trail runners, people walking their dogs, quite a bit of traffic. Came across about a six foot black snake. Trail has some good rolling ups and downs, offers a great sampling of Umstead Park.

hiking
9 days 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.

Nice short hike, this is half of the Sycamore Trail through the woods and along the creek and is cut in half by the Graylyn multiuse trail. The Sycamore trail is a great sampling of all Umstead has to offer and Graylyn can be used by mountain bikes, hikers and horses, mostly made up of crushed and loose gravel. What gave this a four today was the wonderful wood carving at the top of the Graylyn hill. Nice surprise. About 3 miles.

hiking
22 days ago

Nice trail thru the woods. Would definitely hike this again!

hiking
1 month ago

Love this trail!! Well marked and great for dogs.

hiking
1 month ago

Took the dogs and the 8 yr old on a rainy day. Had basically the whole place to ourselves. When the downpours came we were covered by trees so barely even noticed. It was a long 7 miles with the older dog and the kiddo but I along with the pup could have kept going. Quite a few roots to look out for if youre running it but a pretty easy hike, just long. It is really nice to have something do quiet and secluded right in the heart of Raleigh.

trail running
1 month ago

I really enjoyed this trail. Very well marked!! I was surprised, however, when the park didn't open until 0700.

Nice track and distance

hiking
1 month ago

Easy hike through the woods with negligible elevation gain/loss. Took the side trail to get closer to the lake, the only exposed portion of our hike. You're walking along the power lines so not the prettiest view but I love being around any body of water so still worth it. No change in mileage to take the side trail to the lake instead of staying on Sal's Branch. The side trail will take you to the boat launch before the trail turns back to Sal's Branch. Good if you want a quick hike when you do not have a lot of time.

I love Umstead. this is an easy to get to trail that is too busy on weekends, but pretty quiet on weekdays. You can wander off trail and find lots of cool spots to hang out.

follows a nice creek with small waterfalls and lots of chances to get close to the water.

cool chainsaw art on giant fallen tree on graylyn trail about 1 mile from parking lot

Whoopsie...wrong trail :) Go the extra mile for the full loop. It’s worth it!

Good trail - truly moderate, light traffic on a Tuesday afternoon.

mountain biking
2 months ago

For a beginner mountain biker, The tree roots are terrible and too much foot traffic

nice river which runs along the trail, went when the leaves were bare and it was beautiful.

The lake was beautiful...worth the hike.

hiking
2 months ago

Great trail, lots of friendly faces, and good for beginners

hiking
2 months ago

Good trail. Nice woods and paths and streams. Only caution is to know that Loblolly ends before the lake( not as indicated on the all trails map). The trail joins another that takes you further for a total hike of about 12 miles. This latter part is less well marked but worth it. Would definitely do again but plan my return time better if doing the full length as noted on the all trails APP

walking
2 months ago

Needed a short walk; went from parking lot to creek, crossed and followed a short ways then came back. Wide trail, pleasant walking, pretty views along the creek. Enjoyed.

Super Trail -
Easy on the body, might even recommend it for almost anyone!

The area is quiet, and the cover is thick for the most part, and we stayed cool and comfortable!

You'll love it

hiking
3 months ago

Excellent afternoon on the Trails - If you have never been here, and live within an hour of the park you are cheating yourself.
The trails is really an easy trail, and the hills are small and the terrain is forgiving...

For the most part the trail is well under a canopy of trees, and the breeze was consistent.
We lived in the Raleigh area years ago, and on a weekend getaway we decided to hit this park...
And so glad we decided to change plans and hit Umstead!

You will love all 11 miles - (We also took on Sal's Branch/Loop)
There is a trail here for everyone

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful park but this trail is not “hard” difficulty level. The path is a very level and wide sand and grave path like a road; although there is a lot of elevation to traverse it does not require much thought or effort and feels rather domesticated.

hiking
3 months ago

Kiosk and Warren Family graveyard on Reedy Creek Road. Misses the best part of the trail but cuts off about a mile.

Nice trail for a peaceful walk.

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