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Hiking The Triangle
Greenways -Hiking Resources - State Parks - County Parks - Other Areas

Miles of hiking trails exist within easy reach of almost anyone in the triangle, with new ones in various stages of planning and development.

Greenways Triangle Hiking Resources

Greenways are natural corridors that help protect streams and water and air quality by keeping development away from sensitive areas, like streams. Trails are often multi-use for mountain biking and hiking. Some are paved for wheelchair access, and some allow horseback riding as well. Most Greenway trails are fairly short .5 to 3 mile trips, although there are plans to link many of the Greenways into much longer routes.

Raleigh and Cary have well-developed Greenways, mostly following the paths of major tributary streams. Some of the trails can be linked for longer hikes, although there is no camping except at a few designated sites in the states parks and recreation areas.

The Triangle Greenways Council is a trail advocacy group that works to develop and maintain area greenways. They hope one day to create the Circle The Triangle Trail, linking a variety of Greenways, bikeways, and other trails in Wake, Durham, Orange, Chatham, Johnston and Lee Counties.

Greenway Trail Maps & Descriptions (info is provided by Triangle Greenways Council)


The best trail resource for hikers
in the Triangle is provided by NC's
most experienced hiker, Allen De Hart,
Trails of the Triangle :
170 Hikes in the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill Area

Trails of the Triangle Cover
Paperback / Published 1997

State Parks County Parks

William B. Umstead State Park
Rt. 8, Box 130
Raleigh, NC 27612
(919) 787-3033

The park is situated between US 70 & I-40 near the Raleigh airport, between Durham and Raleigh, NC. The park has two major accesses - one is from US Hwy 70, and the other is from the Harrison Ave. exit (Exit 289) off 1-40. Another access is from Reedy Creek Rd., off Blue Ridge Rd., near the Art Museum.

There are 19 miles of easy to moderate hiking trails in the park, with 11 miles also designated as bridle and bike trails. Fishing and picnicking are also popular and there is a family campground for tents and RV's, along with two primitive campgrounds. Reservations are required for use of the primitive campgrounds.

The North Carolina Parks and Recreation system's Park Project has information about Wm. B. Umstead State Park. A map of Umstead State Park is available in Adobe PDF format (200K, requires Adobe Acrobat Reader),or as a jpeg (196 K).

Eno River State Park
6101 Cole Mill Rd.
Durham, NC 27705-9275
(919) 383-1686

There are 5 access areas - Few's Ford, Pleasant Green, Cabe Lands, Cole Mill and Pump Station. Park hours are 8 a.m. till dark.

Activities available include bird watching, boating, fishing, hiking, picniking and rock hounding. There are approximately 18 miles of hiking trails, mostly along the Eno River. Camping is available in the Few's Ford section.

The Eno River is one of the favored spots in the Triangle area. The river offers some small rapids to add a bit of challenge to a canoe or rafting adventure, although in the summer, you may walk more of the river than you float or paddle. As an added bonus, the Festival On The Eno brings some great musical entertainment to town for the July 4th weekend celebration along the riverside at West Point on the Eno.

The North Carolina Parks and Recreation system's Park Project has information about theEno River State Park. A map of Eno River State Park is available in Adobe PDF format (200K, requires Adobe Acrobat Reader),or as a jpeg (196 K).

The Eno River Association also has information about the Eno River State Park and the Festival for the Eno.

Lake Crabtree County Park
1400 Aviation Parkway
Morrisville, NC
(919) 460-3390

Lake Crabtree County Park is 215 acres of woodland, picnic and recreational facilities on the north side of 520 acre Lake Crabtree, a flood control lake stocked for fishing. The park offers hiking, biking, picnicking and playgrounds, boating, fishing and wildlife.

Picnic shelters can be reserved for up to 100 people by calling 919 856-6670. Unreserved shelters are up for grabs on a first come-first served basis.

Several miles of hiking and bike trails offer a little something for everyone.

  • Old Beech Trail- .6 mile interpretive trail for walkers. Highlights include a tree ID center and an old sawmill site.
  • Highland Trail- 3 loops for hikers, joggers and bikers with several access points. This trail connects to the Black Creek Greenway and Umstead State Park by using a section of the old Lake Trail, which leaves from near the end of the parking lot for the boat ramp.
    • Entrance trail- .3 mile
    • Loop 1- 1.3 mile
    • Loop 2- .5 mile
    • Loop 3- 1.3 mile

Blue Jay Point County Park
3200 Pleasant Union Church Rd.
Raleigh, NC 27614
(919) 870-4330
Hours: 8-sunset 7 days a week

On the south side of Falls Lake in N. Raleigh is Blue Jay County Park featuring hiking trails and the Blue Jay Center for Environmental Education. The Falls Lake Trail (below) is the highlight for hikers. Access is from the park itself, or at trail heads off Six Forks Rd. at the bridges crossing Falls Lake. The Center for Environmental Education offers a wide variety of programs year-round for all ages. Call for information on upcoming programs.

Other Worthwhile Areas

Hemlock Bluffs and Steven's Nature Center
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC 27511
919 387-5980

Hemlock Bluff's is an isolated part of the remnant forest ecosystem from the last ice-age 16,000-18,000 years ago. The park's name comes from the small stand of eastern Hemlocks that survive in the cool shade of ravine. Several trails are available in the park. The Steven's Nature Center offers many programs for all ages as well as exhibits of the local ecology.

Nature Center Hours;
October til April Mon.- Sat. 10AM to 7PM
Sunday 1PM to 7PM
May til September Mon.- Sat. 10AM to 5PM
Sunday 1PM to 5PM

Falls Lake Trail
South shore of Falls Lake State Recreation Area

At about 23 miles, the Falls Lake Trail is the longest nearly continuous trail in the area. It is part of the local route of the Mountains To The Sea Trail that will someday cross the whole state. This hiking-only trail roughly follows the south shoreline of Falls Lake north of Raleigh from the Falls Lake Dam westward to the Park Office at Hwy. 50. In places the trail is hard to follow and sometimes subject to flooding, and it is missing a few connecting sections. Check a topographic map, or Trails of the Triangle (above) for a more definite description of the trail.

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