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Sal's Branch Trail

EASY 300 reviews

Sal's Branch Trail is a 2.5 mile heavily 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.

Distance: 2.5 miles Elevation Gain: 183 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

camping

fishing

hiking

paddle sports

trail running

walking

bird watching

forest

lake

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

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.

hiking
9 days ago

Was a good hike. It had just rained the day before so everything was quiet in the woods, except the jet planes taking off every few minutes. Had a picnic down at the lake and enjoyed my hike. Was a little crowded for a weekday but it is Raleigh. Still very nice and clean trail.

hiking
off trail
3 months ago

3 months ago

Great trail! Really enjoyable and refreshing. Also very well maintained. Just a heads up there is a loose plank on one of the bridges at 35.88003, -78.75991.

hiking
3 months ago

rainy day hike! refreshing!

hiking
4 months ago

This is a good trail for young and not so young. There some elevation, but nothing to concern anyone. About halfway around the loop trail is a lake for pictures.

hiking
4 months ago

I really enjoyed this trail. The added treat was seeing to 2 deers just standing and watching. The trail is well maintained.

hiking
4 months ago

Good beginners trail with easy access from Raleigh. Solid loop that can get the heart pumping if you push the pace.

hiking
5 months ago

Beautiful trail on a beautiful day, not too hot, not too cold. The trail is lined with fallen pine needles making it easy to find the path. Small streams and quartz rocks line the outer path. The dogs enjoyed it, plenty of other dogs on the trail as well - everyone behaved! Would hike everyday if I could!

6 months ago

I liked it. A little bumpy with roots and was pretty muddy when I went.

hiking
6 months ago

As a Raleigh local, this is a great trail for a quick weekend or after-work hike. It can be combined with Potts Branch Trail to add another 1-1.5 miles. Nice views of Big Lake at roughly the midpoint.

trail running
7 months ago

Easy, nothing special, but well-kept trail.

hiking
8 months ago

Pretty easy trail, watch out for the tree roots.

11 months ago

Great trail to get out walk with nature. Get there early and it is not so busy.

11 months ago

Nice trail. Busy foot traffic. Well marked.

11 months 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.

11 months ago

Good little trail to get you going

walking
11 months ago

Fun, easy trail with a nice lake view

Monday, August 06, 2018

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.

Monday, August 06, 2018

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
Wednesday, July 18, 2018

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.

hiking
Friday, July 13, 2018

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.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

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.

hiking
Saturday, June 09, 2018

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.

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Nice wooded trail. Will hike this trail again.

hiking
Sunday, May 27, 2018

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

Monday, May 14, 2018

Nice track and distance

hiking
Sunday, April 29, 2018

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
Monday, April 16, 2018

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

Thursday, April 05, 2018

The lake was beautiful...worth the hike.

hiking
Sunday, March 18, 2018

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

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