Sal's Branch Trail

EASY 236 reviews

Sal's Branch Trail is a 2.5 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Raleigh, North Carolina that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. 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.

2.5 miles
183 feet

dogs on leash

kid friendly





paddle sports

trail running







wild flowers


Sal's Branch Trail is an easy 2.8 mile loop trail located on the northeastern side of Umstead State Park near Raleigh, NC. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Sal's Branch can be accessed via several parking areas, Big Lake, the Campground Spur or from the Visitor Center. The trail offers a gently rolling stroll through pines and hardwoods and numerous drainage streams near Big Lake. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. 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.

4 hours ago

Rolling terrain. Stop at Big Lake at the power-line, really nice. Not a difficult trail at all, roots and rocks. No big steep climbs. Piedmont hike. Good to run or walk. Wear sturdy shoes.

15 hours ago

Good little trail to get you going

3 days ago

Fun, easy trail with a nice lake view

14 days ago

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.

15 days ago

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.

1 month 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.

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.

1 month ago

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.

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.

2 months ago

Nice wooded trail. Will hike this trail again.

2 months ago

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

3 months ago

Nice track and distance

3 months 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.

mountain biking
4 months ago

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

4 months ago

The lake was beautiful...worth the hike.

5 months ago

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

7 months ago

Nice, easy hike! Trail was quiet, weather was awesome! A great place to walk around.

8 months ago

lovely on a fall day! easy wooded trail

11 months ago

Refreshing easy trail with even terrain through a good forest. I backpacked to the camp ground & took Sal's Trail on the way back down which finishes at a lake.

trail running
11 months ago

Good for a quick walk or run in the woods

Friday, July 14, 2017

Saw doe and two fawns. Lovely little root-filled trail that is built for a good walk with some minor elevation.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Easy hike with the pup. Even on a hot day the trail was quite busy.

Friday, June 09, 2017

Nice trail for a short hike. Not strenuous but still more interesting than a paved trail. No wildlife sightings but a nice quiet morning hike.

Saturday, May 06, 2017

Nice stroll to the lake and we'll mantained.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Perfect lunch hike.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Great hike!!

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Great easy trail for the whole family. Nice to have the change in elevations to get a great workout and enjoy the scenery.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Great trial

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Trails were flat and easy to follow but it is quite noisy from the nearby airport.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

A bit crowded, but a lovely fall walk with our dog.

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