William B. Umstead State Park

Quick Facts

William B. Umstead State Park

North Carolina

(919) 571-4170

Map Directions

Things To Do


Tucked between the growing cities of Raleigh, Cary, Durham and the corporate world of Research Triangle Park is an oasis of tranquility, a peaceful haven- William B. Umstead State Park. Here, two worlds merge as the sounds of civilization give way to the unhurried rhythm of nature. Highways fade in the distance as trees, flowers, birds and streams form a more natural community. William B. Umstead is a place to escape the pressures of everyday life, a place to picnic in the pines, to wait for a fish to bite, to take a hike or horseback ride on trails through the woods.

Divided into two sections, Crabtree Creek and Reedy Creek, this 5,579-acre park is easily accessible from Interstate 40 and US 70. Visit William B. Umstead State Park and enjoy this region of wilderness at the city's doorstep.

Map of W. B. Umstead (NC)

Latitude, Longitude: 35.858988, -78.753257



  • Boating

    Rent a canoe or rowboat at the boathouse on Big Lake. Relaxing on these small boats is the perfect way to spend an afternoon. The boathouse is open on weekends beginning the first weekend in April through the second weekend in October.

  • Bicycling

    William B. Umstead State Park is one of the few state parks offering trails for bicycling. The mountain-bike trails follow the same roads as the bridle trails and are entered at the same points. Bike trailhead parking is also available down Sycamore Road past Maple Hill Lodge. Mountain bikes are prohibited on the hiking trails.

  • Camping

    The tent/trailer campground is open March 15 through December 15. Twenty-eight campsites, well-shaded by a hardwood forest, offer picnic tables and grills. Hookups are not available, but drinking water and restrooms with showers are centrally located.

    Two primitive campgrounds are open year round for organizations and nonprofit groups that want a more rugged camping experience. Reservations are required for use of these campgrounds.

    Two group camps--Camp Crabtree and Camp Lapihio -- are available to organizations and nonprofit groups. Each camp includes a mess hall, dining area, and washhouses. Located in the heart of the woodlands, each camp offers ample opportunity to explore the wonders of nature. Group camps are open April through October and may be rented daily in spring and fall or weekly during the summer. Accommodating between 27 and 120 people, an entire camp may be rented or a unit of cabins may be rented. Fees vary accordingly.

  • Climbing

    Please call the main phone number for more information.

  • Fishing

    Three manmade lakes are part of the picturesque beauty of William B. Umstead State Park. The largest is Big Lake, which lies on Sycamore Creek. From the parking lot in the Crabtree Creek section, a broad gravel path leads to this 55-acre body of water. Further downstream is Sycamore Lake and, near the intersection of Crabtree and Reedy creeks, is Reedy Creek Lake. Sycamore and Reedy Creek lakes cover about 25 acres each. Fishing is permitted in each of the three lakes and in the connecting streams. Common catches include bass, bluegill and crappie.

  • Hiking

    Twenty miles of hiking trails provide access to most of William B. Umstead State Park. Visitors may choose between a short stroll along a nature trail or a more extensive hike into the woods. Either choice will be rewarding as the beauty and diversity of the park's natural resources are best seen from any one of its many trails. Some of the trails at the park interconnect; to avoid becoming lost, pay close attention to trail markers. No bikes or horses are allowed on hiking trails.

  • Historic Sites

    Please call the main phone number for more information.

  • Horseback Riding

    For people who prefer horseback, approximately 13 miles of bridle trails travel through some of the most scenic and secluded parts of the park. Signs mark the equestrian trails. Horses are restricted to these trails and are not permitted in other areas of the park, including hiking trails. Bridle trailhead parking is available on Sycamore Road past Maple Hill Lodge. All visitors with horses must be able to provide proof of a negative equine infectious anemia (Coggins) test while visiting North Carolina State Parks. All equestrians must check in at the Visitor Center prior to riding on the multiuse trails.

  • Off Highway Vehicles

    Please call the main phone number for more information.

  • Picnicking

    Take a picnic in the park; tables, grills and scenery are provided free of charge. A pine/hardwood forest forms a canopy for 40 picnic tables in the Crabtree Creek section. Reedy Creek offers 25 tables scattered under the trees. Drinking water, restrooms and parking are conveniently located nearby.

  • RVing

    Please call the main phone number for more information.

  • Water Sports

    Please call the main phone number for more information.

Park Partners

The Umstead Coalition

(919) 852-2268



William B. Umstead State Park is located in Wake County between Raleigh and Durham.

The Crabtree Creek section is located 10 miles northwest of Raleigh off US 70. The park visitor center and camping facilities are located in this section. From I-40, turn northeast on I-540 and take the US 70 exit. Travel southeast on US 70, and turn right on Umstead Parkway, which leads to the park office and visitor center.

The entrance to the Reedy Creek section is 11 miles west of Raleigh off I-40. From I-40, take the Harrison Avenue exit and travel northeast into the park.

Phone Numbers


(919) 571-4170