A Bicycle Trip through Umstead Park

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7 - Third Leg: Returning on the Bike & Bridle Trail

(17) Coming back on the B & B trail from Reedy Creek Lake provides some great exercise. After crossing the wooden bridge at Crabtree Creek, it's time to pedal up the long curving hills we rode down on the way there. There's a small dip at the northern extension of the trail where we joined this one. We get to climb out of that and then: Graveyard Hill.

Pictures just don't convey how hills look when you're riding up to them. I know a couple of riders who go to this hill and ride up multiple times for the practice.

When you get to the top, you'll see a clearing with some tables on the right. If you go into the woods in the back of this area, you'll see a small, fenced-in grave site. This is where the hill's name comes from.

Shown at right is my Univega DS-900 MTB. I've since upgraded to a lighter bike that climbs better, but this one has been a lot of fun.

(18) Continuing back past the water fountain and bike stand, the clearing for the Airport Overlook appears in the distance. The trail curves to the left and begins a long, gradual downhill. This is another great place to build up some speed and fly along for more than a mile.

(19) Back at the I-40 bridge, looking to the right where the Black Creek Trail and Lake Crabtree come into view. You can see that the sun is getting lower.

(20) After going through the fence on Old Reedy Creek to get back on the Black Creek Greenway, this grassy area is what you'll see. Lake Crabtree is on the right from here, and the outlet for the dam is in the gulley that's just visible to the left.
(21) Another view of Lake Crabtree. You can tell I like to photograph lakes.

(22) A final shot of Lake Crabtree. I've had the good fortune of seeing the sun setting over the lake on my ride home several times. There have been sunsets where the view is inexpressibly beautiful.

It used to bother me that some people say negative things about this part of the Triangle. I no longer care. If you hear someone doing this, ask them how many lakes there are in Umstead Park.


Text and photos are Copyright 2002 © by Scott Chilcote.

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