Sycamore Trail

MODERATE 153 reviews

Sycamore Trail is a 6.7 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Raleigh, North Carolina that features a lake 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.

6.7 miles
610 feet

dogs on leash

kid friendly





paddle sports

trail running






wild flowers



Sycamore Trail is located near Raleigh, North Carolina. The trail is great for hiking and normally takes 2-3 hours. The Sycamore Trail is located in William B. Umstead State Park. The trailhead is located on the northern side (highway 70 entrance) of the park. This is a very popular park and can be very busy on pretty days. This is a good woods walk. No overlooks and no great mountainous expansions but, given that the park bumps up right against Raleigh, it's a great place to get away from the traffic. The trail rambles around on the northern side of the park, and is lightly populated with people except on weekends. You might get lucky and see a snake or two, and maybe a deer, but otherwise there isn't a whole lot of wildlife on this one. Go during fall for some great colors. Go during rain for seclusion.

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.

2 months ago

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

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

3 months ago

Nice trail for a peaceful walk.

5 months ago

I like to combine this trail with the Company Mill trail for a nice 12 mile hike. I start at trail head. At the loop portion, I go right. At the Graylyn trail, I cross the bridge and pick up Company Mill. upon my return, I pick up the Sycamore trail where I left off, and complete it.

6 months ago

Great trail! no summit views, but there is enough terrain that keeps it interesting! Pathway is mainly dirt, so a pups paws would be fine.

trail running
6 months ago

Great trail. Just enough rocks and roots to keep it interesting, especially in the late fall as the leaves make it tricky in spots. Well marked, no issues following the trails.

6 months ago

9 months ago

Be prepared for a little of everything on this trail. It has its inclines & declines. It has rocky, rooty (if that is a word) & smooth trails. It is cut through a large forest some you have loads of shade. Several places to to take a short break if you need one. There is water about 1/2 way in the loop.

11 months ago

Not much wildlife but great forest density and enough elevation to keep the eyes and heart moving. Tree roots abound.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Trail tougher than company mill even though the elevation isn't the issue. More tree roots, unsteady trails requiring more concentration. Nice hike, though.

Saturday, June 03, 2017

really pretty. you can't bike on this trail.

Saturday, June 03, 2017

Depends on what time of day you go. But it looks amazing when it's really bright and hot outside! Trail is easy enough to run as well if you choose too. And long enough that you still see people using the trekking poles and big packs occasionally. I personally enjoy loading up my backpack and walk it if iam with people not running, if I am by myself I would just do a hydration pack and run it.

Saturday, May 06, 2017

Definitely the longest hiking trail in Umstead. Some very scenic creeks and streams run past the trail. Quite a few birds, squirrels, and lizards will accompany you on your trek. Multiple trails intersect cross paths should you wish to change course. In order to stay on the trail, look for blue triangles that mark the trees. Lightly trafficked. Dog-friendly (leashed) with some trail runners. Sycamore Creek offers the hiker a gorgeous sight. Many knotted paths and elevation changes keep the trail exciting. There is quite a bit of straight trail before the loop begins.

Monday, April 17, 2017

I leave the kids behind for this one. This is a great trail to escape the crowd in the middle of the city.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Very good trail

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Great trail but extremely crowded during the weekends.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017


Monday, January 16, 2017

I had a wonderful time hiking on the this trail. It was a nice woods trail with some scenic views around the lake. The traffic was light and the wood was quiet and with some nice streams.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Incredibly peaceful hike especially if you go in the morning during the week.

Monday, August 29, 2016

It's a nice long hike for the area. Nothing too special but it gets you out into the woods without having to travel far.

Monday, December 07, 2015

Nice hike through an old growth forest. You can find the trail head at the end of the paved road which goes past the visitor center (which has bathrooms). If you want a longer hike, you can also add on the Company Mill trail which is just across a stream at the farthest part of the hike. Makes for a nice 12+ mile hike. A fair number of runners on these trails.

Saturday, December 05, 2015

My wife and I did the loop but not the stem. We got to the lop via one of the "bridal trails" from Ebenezer church rd. Very pretty. Lots. Of water. A few hikers and runners , but just right for a Saturday morning. Had to cross the creek on a large log to avoid wet shoes. Good adventure. I preferred mill creek. Not sure why.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Always one of my favorite home turf hikes. Some nice hills and good workout. A few good places to go off trail and add to the loop around old campgrounds.

Saturday, July 05, 2014

One of my favorite local trails. Generally takes me around 3 hours or so, including a brief break at the stone bridge that is also the crossover point to the Company Mill Trail. Occasionally I will combine the Sycamore Trail with the Company Mill Trail for an all day hike that is approximately 13 miles total.

The park is beautiful in July! even if somewhat warm. The high was 86 degrees on this day. We saw a large black snake crossing the trail in front of us, it seemed sluggish due to the heat.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Sycamore Trail is my favorite trail in Umstead State Park. It's not as popular as Company Mill, so not as many people on the trail, but just as scenic. The stretch of the loop that follows Sycamore Creek is particularly nice, especially after a good rain when the creek is really flowing. There is a connector trail to connect with Company Mill Trail by the Sycamore Creek Bridge to make a longer figure-8 loop.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Walked this trail today. 7.6 miles from car and back but tracker could have been off. About 2.5 hours total. Maybe 20 people total out in trail. Solid hike - moderate is accurate. You'll get a workout but no section is bad enough to feel strenuous. If you do the loop counterclockwise is a bit easier due to switchbacks to get to creek.

1 day ago

20 days ago

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