Umstead State Park

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8801 Glenwood Ave., Raleigh, NC, USA

Umstead State Park Raleigh Reviews

vances vances
581 reviews
Let's Go to Umstead instead... Dec 28, 2011
Nestled between Raleigh and Durham, the William B. Umstead State Park is an enormous nature refuge. The park’s footprint sprawls across almost 5,600 acres, offering 22 miles of hiking trails and 13 miles of bridle trails (which may also be used for mountain biking). This network is supported by well maintained facilities and you should have no problems locating a picnic spot or restrooms despite the enormity of the park.

There are two separate entrances to Umstead, owing to its history of unifying two independent parks. Like so many other state parks, Umstead began in 1934 as a Civilian Conservation Corps project to provide jobs during the Depression. This main portion of the park opened to the public in 1937 as the Crabtree Creek Recreation Area, the name of the main entrance (ten miles northwest of Raleigh off US-70). In a sad testament to prejudice, the second section known as Reedy Creek was established around 1950, exclusively for African-Americans. The two were not wed into a single space open to anyone until 1966.

The Reedy Creek entrance is eleven miles west of Raleigh at exit 287 off I-40, and this was the section I hiked a bit of. As I mentioned, there were adequate facilities and the trails well maintained (and marked). I was pleasantly surprised to discover a ton of trail runners zooming by me as I strolled – perhaps the sport is catching on in Raleigh? These troops were supplemented by a lot of family groups and I was quite happy to see youngsters getting outside to hike through the woods.

The trails all seemed easy and there are three lakes embedded within the grounds. You can’t bring your own boat into the park, but there is the ability to rent a canoe or rowboat and paddle about Big Lake. The park is so big that primitive camping is another option, in addition to traditional tent/trailer campsites (no hookups) at twenty-eight sites sprinkled throughout. The scenery is pleasant and Umstead State Park has everything you need to escape the big city, despite being just outside it!
Welcome to William B. Umstead Stat…
Here's the trail map - you can see…
The paths are well maintained.
Reedy Creek
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adventuremann adventur…
26 reviews
Apr 06, 2007
Umstead State Park is a 5577-acre park that sits exactly between Raleigh and Durham off of I-40 and Hwy 70. Because of the growth of these two cities, which have almost merged into one metropolitan area, Umstead is become much more of a giant city part that serves as a quiet respite from the busy traffic passing nearby. The park itself is heavily wooded, and peaceful paths meander through the vegetation. There are two large picnic areas with outside picnic tables and grills, as well as roofed picnic cabins with fire-places. The woods in North Carolina are mostly pines, but there are a few other types of trees to be found at Umstead as well. Streams flow through the park, and the whole area is a perfect place for children to explore nature in a safe context.

Some of the trails are paved and are ideal for children to bike around. Other trails are not paved, but clearly marked and are more appropriate for walkers and joggers. Bathroom facilities near the picnic areas are convenient, yet far enough away to not be a nuisance.

There are no swings or other playground equipment in the park. The emphasis of a visit to this place is definitely on nature and tranquility.

There are two entrances to the Park, one from I-40, the other from Hwy-70. The roads do not connect, which is a good thing so that this does not become a commuter short-cut between these two major highways.

This park will never be one of the top attractions of the park system. But as a quiet get-away on a busy day, it is convenient. And the location in the center of a major metropolitan area guarantees that future generations will live close to trees and wildlife.
Enjoying a stroll down a path at U…

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Umstead State Park Map
2 reviews - $79
photo by: spocklogic