A Bicycle Trip through Umstead Park

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4 - First Leg: Umstead Entrance to Big Lake, Continued

(5) From the Airport Overlook forward there's a long, shady, straight length of trail that's good for riding fast. Get moving and don't slow down until you see the water fountain up ahead, with its handy bicycle stand.
(6) Here's how the fountain looks when you approach it on the trial. It's behind the bicycle stand in this picture. There's a faucet on the front for filling bottles or giving a drink to the dog. Sometimes a group will pause here and chat.
(7) Another view with the fountain showing the trail stretching away on the right. To the left of the fountain (out of view in this picture) is the gate that leads to the northern branch of my bike ride. On either side of the gate is a gap you can ride through. Go through and take the next left. This leads to a long downhill stretch towards Big Lake where you can really get up some speed.
(8) Keep watching on the left as you head down this hill, and you'll see Big Lake come into view. You can ride a short distance down a path that travels clockwise around the lake for a quarter mile or so (shown in the foreground). There's also a walking path that continues north from there, but the main road is easier for riding.

The next installment of this tour finishes the northern section, going past Sycamore Lake and leading back to the original bike & bridle trail.

Next: Finishing the Northern Extension

Text and photos are Copyright 2002 © by Scott Chilcote.

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