Explore the most popular lake trails in North Carolina with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Fun hike with a river and a lake

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

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

A good hike with the kids. Pretty nice double track rolling hills easy hike.

Love to paddle this lake. Thick with duck weed and full of exotic looking little frogs it from a different time and place.

Nice hike for everyone! Several well-marked trails with great views.

One of my favorite trails. A little of everything elevation, flat areas, beautiful views.

went with the family and a 3 month old Aussie pup. Dont know that my parents enjoyed it as much as I did, but the views are absolutely gorgeous the whole way and it's a great reward for the tough hike. (Mind you, even if you're in pretty decent shape it's tough though)

very nice trail.

Nice and mostly shaded trail around the lake. Not too crowded on weekdays.

Great trail to run, very technical so be ready for a challenge. Just make sure to run/hike the opposite direction of the bikers and you shouldn't have any issue seeing each other. Taking all of the black diamond bike routes should put out a distance just over 4 miles.

this place is near and dear to my heart glad I live so close to such a beautiful place the big man above created a masterpiece with this one

8 days ago

Glorious! We had the entire circuit to ourselves and only saw the occasional fisherman. We walked several of the loops.

It’s called Five Overlooks...not peaks.

9 days ago

We started at battleground trail head. I liked starting here and taking a break at the marina (bathroom and vending machines are there) We are new to trails and found this one pretty easy, there were maybe two hills that were tough. Fun for our dogs too!

9 days ago

Hiked this loop trail on a cool, damp Saturday morning. Well maintained trail, well marked, easy walk, minor hills. It's a little rocky at the beginning but nothing major. Really enjoyed this trail.

Did it a few years ago. Loved it

7 rock hops down to CS91 then 8 stream crossings with a few rock hops on down to Lakeshore Trail.

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

15 days ago

Nice stroll through the woods with a view of the lake. Lots of roots and rocks and some low-incline hills.

Great workout and beautiful views!

I enjoyed this with my husband. It was a nice open field at first, like a savanna, then some woods. For us, it was nice and peaceful, with some hikers along the way. It wasn’t very difficult of a walk. Up and back, 2 miles each way. There are NO RESTROOMS in this area or the trail.

I would go back but drink less coffee on the way next time. :/

Very nice hike - nice view from the Cone Manor, but most of the trail is a great walk through the woods and around the lake. We didn't know the trail as well as most - and since the trail really isn't marked clearly - it's easy to cut out the "maze" section of the hike and go up to the "apple barn".

Nice trail for a peaceful walk.

A +++ !
Loved this trail today!

16 days ago

Not hard, per se, but a sure heart-pumper if you take the loop trail first and finish with the direct descent back to the parking area. Definitely worth the payoff view at the top.

This trail is labeled HARD for a reason, but it is so worth it!! In the summer there are wild blueberries lining the path, and the views of the gorge are simply stunning. the campgrounds are also gorgeous.
Be ready for some burning legs! This trail is breathtaking in more ways than one!

Pretty great! Lovely views of the lake and lots of beautiful trees around a river.
I really enjoy the hills in the unpaved section.
There was in fact quite a bit of foot traffic.

good for a morning walk with the dog and coffee

Fun and an easy place to run!

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