William B. Umstead State Park is one of the most pawsome places to
take your pup for a walk in Raleigh. At a whopping 5600 acres, it's
beyond huge. There's always something new to discover in this special
place. As you walk through the deep woods and along the waters
of Umstead Park, you'll feel like you're miles away from any city, even
though you're still in the city limits of Raleigh. Many local folks can
drive to the park in fifteen minutes or less.
Some people come
to Umstead Park for boating and fishing, but its most popular feature
is its trail system, which includes multi-use trails open to cyclists
and equestrians, as well as trails for hikers only. Dogs are welcome on
all of the park's trails as long as they're on a leash. Remember to
bring your own waste bags to clean up after your pup, and a bowl to fill
at the various water fountains in the park.
Of the 35 miles of trails in Umstead Park, 22 are dedicated hiking trails and 13 are multi-use. The Company Mill, Sal's Branch, and Sycamore Trails are the park's longer and more popular trails. The Company Mill Trail is a moderate six-mile loop through the park's wooded heart. Sal's Branch is a moderate three-mile loop that passes along the shores of Big Lake. The seven-mile Sycamore Trail crosses Sal's Branch and follows streams east before looping back. If you're looking for a faster walk, you can choose one of many shorter spur and standalone trails between one-half and one mile long. As you come back and get more familiar with the park, you can make up your own route, as many of the trails intersect.
If you and your dog want to escape to the woods and get lost in nature's beauty, there's no better place to come than Umstead Park.