A Bicycle Trip through Umstead Park

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2 - Arriving at Umstead Park

(5) Nearing the end of the Black Creek Greenway, you can see the entrance to the Crabtree Loop Trails if you look to the left and down the hill. The gate is just visible in this picture (click to see an enlarged view). These trails are considered easy by MTB riders, but definitely require caution if you're used to gentle paths. In addition, this gate will be closed and locked if it has rained recently, to protect the loop trails from excessive erosion. These trails have been built and maintained by volunteers, so please respect the judgement of those who made them possible.
(6) Look to the right and down at this point, and you realize that the trail is crossing an earthwork dam. While not as picturesque as the lake, I always find such projects interesting.
(7) The end of the Black Creek Greenway. This view shows the top of the back entrance to the Crabtree Loop Trails, which heads down a gravel path to the left. If you go straight ahead and through a gap in the fence, you'll be on Old Reedy Creek road, which leads to Umstead Park and other interesting trails for offroad bicycling. Riders use the sides of this dirt road as a parking area. The bench in this view is often used for staging, as well as a place to chat for a few minutes before starting or wrapping up a ride.
This location is close to access to a few of the more technical trails in the area, such as R o c k y   R o a d, the S l u d g e   T r a i l, and the  I B M   T r a i l.
(10) After going through the gate onto Old Reedy Creek, turn left on the dirt road to get to the bridge that crosses over I-40. I think it's cool that there's a bridge over this major artery here that primarily allows bicyclists to get into Umstead Park. In reality, it's an access road for the handful of private residences that exist between I-40 and Umstead. Since the road is dirt and gravel, make plenty of room when one of the locals drives through. This picture looks over I-40 west towards RTP.
(11) Another view from the I-40 bridge. This one looks east towards Raleigh. It's about a quarter of a mile from this bridge to the gate that marks the beginning of the Umstead Trails.

Next: The Umstead Trails

Text and photos are Copyright 2002 © by Scott Chilcote.

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