Lake Crabtree Loop Trail

moderate 139 reviews

Lake Crabtree Loop Trail is a 10.2 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Morrisville, North Carolina that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 10.2 miles Elevation Gain: 469 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly



mountain biking

nature trips


bird watching





wild flowers




over grown

washed out

NOTE: The Crabtree trails are closed when they are muddy, so call ahead of time to check if they are open. Lake Crabtree County Park is located on a 215-acre site adjacent to a 520-acre flood control lake, the park hosts more than 16 miles of trails for its main activity. Other activities include group and individual picnicking, catch-and-release fishing, boating, and nature study. Of the 16 miles of trails at Lake Crabtree, 6 of them are the loop that goes all the way around the lake. A program offers an interpretive hike that explores the entire circumference of the lake. Come prepared with good walking shoes that can handle some mud. Blue blazes mark this pedestrian loop around Lake Crabtree . The trail head is located at the kiosk next to the Managers Office. Two highlights of the trail are the Heather Lee Carr Memorial and Black Creek footbridge, each providing a scenic overlook and rest area. A portion of the trail is shared with the Town of Carys Black Creek Greenway. You can pick up a trail map at kiosks near the park HQ.

bridge out
over grown
washed out
1 month ago

Over half of the trail was closed.

5 months ago

This is one of my favorite trails in the RTP area. The blue dotted trail named The Lake Trail is about a 6 mile loop. It comes across wooded areas, fields of wild flowers, and beautiful views of Lake Crabtree. At first it seems off because after a cute little path you’re walking right next to traffic for about .5 miles. But keep going..I promise it gets better! The best part of this trail is it has so many different views. It keeps it interesting. Downside: It is closed often if there has been any rain due to a lot of the trail gets easily washed out. It also can be a bit buggy with some spider make sure to wear bug spray and wave a stick in front of you when walking through more narrow parts of the trail and you’ll be fine.

recorded Recording - 5 12, 12:49

9 months ago

Great place. Little trails available for biking.

9 months ago

great easy trail.

11 months ago

Trail has been closed every time I try to hike it. Been this way for months. Very disappointed:/

Sun Jul 22 2018

Many of the trails are marked poorly and duplicate as biking trails. The trails are thin and impassible so you must always look behind you when hiking, reel the pup in, and step aside to let bikers pass. It makes the time in nature a little less enjoyable.

Sun Oct 22 2017

Under construction .... not enjoyable

Sat Jun 03 2017

The lake trail is closed about 2 miles in for construction. Would have been nice if there was a sign. Enjoyed it otherwise.

Sat May 27 2017

We walked around Lake Crabtree. 5.5 miles. There were some nice sections but also not so nice sections. One section went right next to Morrisville Parkway, another next to Evans Rd., another along a busy paved greenway with lots of bikers. Plus industrial and office buildings right off the trail half of the way. And the last section went just below the I-40 freeway and then on a very popular mountain biking trail. There was a constant stream of bikers that we had to step off the trail and let go by. Good and bad.

Thu Apr 27 2017

the lake loop was closed to bike traffic, but the smaller loops are good for an afternoon ride!

Mon Apr 17 2017

This is a great trail once you get past the small section by the road. There is also a small portion that is shared with mountain bikes. Crabtree has amazing wildlife viewing opportunities.

Thu Mar 16 2017

This is really easy unless you venture too far off of the beaten path -great for a Saturday walk with friends

Sun Feb 19 2017

Great trail.

Sun Feb 12 2017

Nice little hike. It's most pretty along the lake. The trails are well-worn. If you're seeking solitude, go elsewhere. There's traffic in the air, on the nearby highway, and on the trail itself (many mountain bikers).

Sat Jan 14 2017

great easy place to get a touch of nature

Wed Oct 26 2016

Nice, but spiderweb after spiderweb after spiderweb after spiderweb. And I go hiking everyday. I was more concerned about spiders than i was on the nice scenery.

Fri Sep 16 2016

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!

Fri Jul 29 2016

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.

Sun Mar 06 2016

Lake Crabtree Loop Trail in Morrisville, NC - not a trail I would hike again. Granted, it's March as I wrote this, but it's trashy and very loud due to highway traffic. About a mile of it you walk right next to the highway. Plus lots of people riding bikes and they scare the heck out of you when they ride up behind and don't yell "track." We walked it because it was close to home but won't do it again.

Sun Dec 27 2015

Nice easy trail.

Sat Dec 12 2015

nice easy trails, boat rentals, bike station located on trail in case you have to repair bike, trails wrap around lake for scene view.

Thu Nov 12 2015

I love to do this trail on Saturday mornings. it's never very busy and my dog loves it.

Tue Sep 15 2015

My hike was Loops 1, 3, and 4, about 5 miles all together. Not a bad hike, part of the trail was along RT 40 but far enough off the road so that it was still kind of private, drivers would never know you were there. Not too much to look at as far as scenery, but I thought it was peaceful. I was surprised to see the bike jumps in the middle of the trail area, but thought that was pretty cool. Hopefully nobody gets seriously hurt because if you yell for help you're out of luck, not a lot of people using the trail when I was there. Overall it is a nice place to hike.

Wed Apr 29 2015

These trails are fun to ride and they are pretty well maintained. I really liked the pump section and the jump section. Also, there are a lot of roots on these trails. However, they need more signage, unless you have ridden these trails many times, they are tough to navigate.

Sun Aug 24 2014

The photo for this trail is Crabtree Falls located at milepost 339 on the Blue Ridge Parkway just outside of Linville NC...not Virginia. My girlfriend and I hiked to this waterfall back on August 10th this year and the photo attached to this trail description is identical to the photo we took of the waterfall (complete with the downed tree on the left side of the photo). It's a strenuous hike on the way back but well worth it. Happy trails, everyone!

Tue Jul 29 2014

Great all around park with spaces for many activities. Excellent for families with kids. Great sunset over the water.

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