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.

I liked this trail. We chose it because it was baby stroller friendly for my grandson. However, I would rate it easy to moderate because although it’s paved, there were many steep inclines. So if you’re not used to inclines, don’t do the whole loop.

this was a good trail to start out on

on Sal's Branch Trail

1 month ago

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

Pretty flat and not too many roots at the beginning. The elevation and tougher ground starts around the loop and it was a fun length! Good start to a day

This is my favorite trail at Umstead.

hiking
1 month ago

Very pretty trail.

hiking
1 month ago

Awesome trail with lots of hills and beautiful views of lake.

it's good trials..

on Lake Lynn Trail

hiking
1 month ago

We had been at Lake Lynn Trail twice! One with our pup (each dog we encountered had a leash and dog owners were courteous) Yesterday was our take #2. Right now, hit the lake after 5:30pm, you’ll not regretted (the majority of it is shaded) It is well marked, great for families, just to have a nice stroll after dinner, or just to hike while watching the beauty of the lake (and birds) It is an easy hike.

One of my favorites.

Nice trail. Busy foot traffic. Well marked.

nice trail with slight incline for a moderate workout. good for a technical trail run. alot is by a creek making for nice scenery

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.

Good little trail to get you going

walking
1 month ago

Fun, easy trail with a nice lake view

I ride this trail regularly. it's busy on the weekends near the dam, but a great trail.
Bridges are well maintained, and the trail clean.

Great walking trail

Did the west loop. Nice short easy walk with a small section of hilly terrain. Well visited trail with plenty of dogs in tow (actually,owners in tow).If you just want to get out into nature without a serious workout, give this a shot.

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.

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
2 months ago

Good walk in the woods, some of the trail has water nearby which makes for a nice background noise.

on Sycamore Trail

hiking
2 months ago

My husband and I really enjoyed this trail and would do again when we come back to visit our friends who live a very short distance form the park. We went on a weekday around 7:30am shortly after the Crabtree entrance to the park opens which is 7am all other entrances open at 8am. Parking was free and easy. Was well shaded which kept the temperature down and the creek that you walk along side where the trail loops was great and not really any bugs attacking you although we did bug spray ourselves well prior to which is pretty good considering it was late July. Nice, even well maintained trail much more so than the CA trails that we're familiar with. Had quite a few roots and some rocks but we weren't bothered by this as we were wearing hiking shoes/boots but this trail is definitely doable in sneakers just a matter of personal preference and comfort level. I wouldn't personally consider this trail moderate it was a nice, relaxing hike but still kept your heart rate up with some changes in incline here and there and of course the humidity which was to be expected. Just FYI, there was not any drinkable water available at the time of our hike on 07/26 to refill our water bottles halfway through the hike as the nearest water fountain was out of service and the sink located outside the restroom nearby is non-potable water which it clearly indicates on the side of the water pipe so plan to bring plenty of water with you. We had not brought our Camelbaks like we normally would have as we were visiting from out of state and were attempting to keep the packing on the lighter side but will do so next time, lesson learned. But overall a great new hiking experience.

hiking
2 months ago

I may be biased as I just moved here from the mountains of NC, but this trail was pretty bland in my opinion. I’d consider this more for running rather than hiking. I thought that there was gonna be a nice river on the trail; however, it was also pretty dull/bland and it’s not very appealing.

hiking
2 months ago

Very busy trail on the south side of Umstead. It's pretty rustic so most of the time you're looking down to avoid stumbling over roots or rocks. I'm amazed how people run this trail with ease. In general, I favor the northern side of Umstead as they provide more solitude and are less rustic.

hiking
2 months 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.

road biking
3 months ago

Fantastic trail to ride. From Falls lake in north raleigh to Riverwood in Clayton (and eventually further). Can't wait for the continuation. I have ridden the full length and it has many variations, spots great for the family or weekend rider all the way to challenging hills for the serious rider. It also connects to several other popular trails. Careful of some bridges as they are beginning to show some age. As I write this, they are about to start repairs on one of the bigger bridges between Buffalo park and Anderson pointe. No detour, so plan accordingly. Otherwise, enjoy. It's definitely my favorite trail in the triangle.

trail running
3 months ago

Great trail , easy to do

hiking
3 months 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.

hiking
3 months ago

Great place for a walk. Trail offers variety of scenery along the way with different sections offering a different experience. Usually very crowded though.

3 months ago

Beautiful trail, well maitained. More rest areas with bathrooms would be great.

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