Explore the most popular paddle sports trails near Raleigh with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

4 days ago

Best sunsets in Raleigh! This is a fun jog/hike that doesn’t take much time at all. Weekends are always more heavily trafficked but that just means more dogs to pet.

hiking
9 days 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.

Nice wooded trail. Will hike this trail again.

trail running
12 days ago

Well maintained trail, can take jogging strollers and dogs/kids friendly. Make sure to have the bug repellent on before start.

hiking
22 days ago

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

hiking
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.

Nice track and distance

hiking
1 month 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.

I love Umstead. this is an easy to get to trail that is too busy on weekends, but pretty quiet on weekdays. You can wander off trail and find lots of cool spots to hang out.

mountain biking
2 months ago

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

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

hiking
2 months ago

I brought my dog here and it was a super easy walk but allowed her to get plenty of exercise! It would also be a great place to go running!

The lake was beautiful...worth the hike.

hiking
2 months ago

Good trail. Nice woods and paths and streams. Only caution is to know that Loblolly ends before the lake( not as indicated on the all trails map). The trail joins another that takes you further for a total hike of about 12 miles. This latter part is less well marked but worth it. Would definitely do again but plan my return time better if doing the full length as noted on the all trails APP

walking
2 months ago

Needed a short walk; went from parking lot to creek, crossed and followed a short ways then came back. Wide trail, pleasant walking, pretty views along the creek. Enjoyed.

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

hiking
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

Nice trail for a peaceful walk.

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.

Yep. It’s a beautiful forest walk, trail run.

hiking
5 months ago

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

hiking
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.

Hill Training!

hiking
6 months ago

quiet on a beautiful dec. day. I was scared by 9 mile description, but I did the 3 miles to park boundary for a 6.1 hike. The utility trail at 2.2 is good place to turn around if don't want to do rougher and hillier last mile. The trail must go another 2 miles in the Schenck forest.

hiking
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.

hiking
6 months ago

Good trail but very busy. It's nice and wide but wheelchairs may have difficulty with the second half as it's very steep. Elevation increase may only be 242ft but it does it up and down two or three times.

hiking
6 months ago

lovely on a fall day! easy wooded trail

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