A Bicycle Trip through Umstead Park

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1 - The Black Creek Greenway

My trip usually starts with the Black Creek Greenway. This multi-use tar path starts at Dynasty Drive just west of North Harrison in Cary. Another link is nearing completion that will start this greenway at NW Maynard near Evans Road. There's even a dedicated parking lot.

The numbered dots on the map below correspond to the pictures shown on the next two pages. Click on any picture to see an enlarged view.

(1) Here's the current entrance at Dynasty Drive. There's limited parking along the edge of Dynasty, and occasional traffic. This trail wanders along Black Creek through a narrow valley. There are some wooden bridges, and a view of the backyards of some fairly expensive homes. It sets the mood for a break from whatever I'm doing to get by at the moment.
(2) These tall bridges at Cary Parkway mark off the first third of the greenway. Since this trail is multi-use, watch for dogs (usually on leashes) and small children on various arrangements of wheels. They have the right of way and can usually be expected to do the opposite of whatever their parents are telling them ;-)
(3) The shorter bridges at Weston Parkway occur just before Lake Crabtree comes into view. Fewer pedestrians come this far. Just ahead and to the right is an access path from a large building's parking lot at Winstead Avenue (off Weston). Some cyclists use this lot to start closer to the trails in Crabtree Park and Umstead Park.
(4) Lake Crabtree appears on the left. This lake may be man-made, but this is a wonderful recreation area and a treat for the eyes as well. This is one of a handful of overlooks. A short distance ahead the path curves and goes through a narrow gap in a fence. It can be ridden through, but it takes a steady hand.

Next: Ariving at Umstead Park

Text and photos are Copyright 2002 © by Scott Chilcote.

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