Best Hiking Trails in Raleigh-Durham

by Kyle Denis June 18, 2015

Best Hiking Trails in Raleigh-Durham

Spring is here and with summer right around the corner it’s time to get outside and start exploring! And you may not have realized that the Raleigh-Durham area is filled with hidden trails and rivers that will amaze you. From Umstead Park to Raven Rock, adventure is calling your name this spring. Whether it's to hike, bike, fish, or just relax and enjoy the beauty around you - Apex Outfitter's top 6 trails are the perfect escape after a busy week. So throw on your Patagonia Quandary Shorts and Merrell Boots, grab your Hydroflask, and let the adventures begin!

In the middle of hectic RTP, Umstead Park is named the top trail in the Raleigh-Durham area by many for obvious reasons. Less than 30 minutes from Apex - where “two worlds merge” as the sound of the hustle and bustle of the city fade into the tranquil sounds of nature during a 4 mile hike. Beginning at the Loblolly Trail and running to the Reedy Creek Bike and Bridle Trail,  Umstead Park is a place to escape the pressures of day to day life and take a minute to relax. Whether you want to fish by the lake, take a hike, or horseback ride through the woods - Umstead Park is the place to be. So, escape city life and enjoy this region of “wilderness at the city’s doorstep.”

8801 Glenwood Ave
Raleigh, NC 27617

Hiking, biking, fishing, boating - maybe even Geocaching?? Whatever you choose, Lake Crabtree is the place to get up and be active! Located on 215 acre site across from the lake, this park hosts more than 16 miles of trails for any activity - 6 of which loop around the lake, while the remaining 10 are great for mountain biking. Lake Crabtree is a favorite for riders in the Triangle area. The trails offer gentle climbs and descents for beginners, along with fast, flowy tracks for more advanced riders. Through your hike at Lake Crabtree, you can see North Carolina history - the ruins of an 19th century tenant house, as well as a stone lined well and tobacco ordering pit. A great spot for any activity, this trail connects to Umstead Park if you wish to continue your journey.

1400 Aviation Parkway
Morrisville, NC 27560

Would you expect a 60 mile hiking trail in the middle of the Raleigh-Durham area? Well, Falls Lake is yet another hidden escape right around the corner on North Carolina’s Mountain to Sea trail. Falls Lake includes 24 sections, ranging from one mile trails to almost 6 - allowing you to choose your journey - overlooking the water, ducking in coves, or traveling through the State Recreation Area. Enjoy walking, biking the trails, or venture out onto the water - fishing, boating, and swimming are only a few activities that await you!

13304 Creedmoor Rd.
Wake Forest, NC 27587

Minutes from Durham, Hillsborough, and Chapel Hill this State Park is filled with trails that overlook the clear river drifting over a rocky stream bed. The Eno River is a swift, shallow stream flowing from Orange into Durham County for 33 miles before joining and streaming into Falls Lake. It runs through wilderness, passing historic mill sites, river bluffs, and fords used by early settlers. With more than 3900 acres of natural resources, the Eno River is a beautiful park that has five access points, allowing you to reach it with ease to explore your local scenic park at Eno River.

6101 Cole Mill Road
Durham, NC 27705

Hemlock Bluff is one of few state nature preserves in North Carolina. Although it is located minutes from downtown Apex in Cary, it is home to unique flora and fauna that is typically found in the mountains, such as Eastern Hemlock trees and Galax.  So just have an hour or so to spare? This nature preserve is a short 3 mile stretch of mulched nature trails with scenic overlooks. Perfect for bird and wildlife watching, as it is home to a variety of reptiles, amphibians, and mammals. Next time you need a quick escape check out the trails at Hemlock Bluffs to enjoy a scenic journey.

2616 Kildaire Farm Rd
Cary, NC 27518

Slightly farther from the triangle, but the scenic views at Raven Rock are worth the trip. So if you have the urge to explore after a long work week, head to Raven Rock State Park. Adventure is about an hour from the Raleigh-Durham area, but here trails twist and turn allowing you to explore the beauty of this State Park in two directions. Go to the overlook for a clear view of the river and woodlands or take the hike to see Raven Rock high above the Cape Fear River. As the river below rushes to join the sea, nature continues to shape the surface of this natural monument. Go spend some time at Raven Rock State Park and let nature refresh your spirit.

3009 Raven Rock Road
Lillington, NC 27546

So, where will your adventurous side take you next?? Share your adventure with us on Facebook at Apex Outfitter & Board Co!
Kyle Denis
Kyle Denis

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