13 miles of bike & bridle trail

Umstead’s bike & bridle trail is the core of the Umstead 100, one of the most popular ultra trail runs in the country. The race is popular because the tread is a foot-friendly, finely crushed gravel surface that stands up well to miles of food-pounding. Because it’s double-track, it’s also a popular site for group runs as well us for a couple of buddies who like to train together and make the miles pass faster as they catch up.

Umstead has two main entrances — off I-40 at Harrison Avenue and off U.S. 70/Glenwood Avenue — but the most popular entrance for runners is the neighborhood entrance at Lake Crabtree on Old Reedy Creek Road. Park near the bridge, warm-up with a gentle half-mile climb to the park gate on a gravel road. From the gate to the gate at the far end of the park is 5 miles — a 10-mile out and back. The two miles or so is relatively flat; after that, it’s a series of long climbs.

For exceptional hill work throw the Turkey Creek Trail into the mix. Not much flat here, especially on the North Turkey Creek leg, which features a number of short, steep climbs.

The bike & bridle trail meshes well with the 20-mile network of singletrack, making the centrally-located Umstead a prime destination for the Triangle’s trail running community.

More info: Umstead State Park

Maps: Downloadable map available here, also available at trailhead.

Getting there from downtown Raleigh
Difficulty: moderate
Distance: 20 minutes from downtown
Time to complete: 1 – 5 hours
Address: 8801 Glenwood Ave.
City: Raleigh
State: North Carolina
Zip: 27617
Latitude: 35.8905
Longitude: 78.7502