Mine Creek Trail

North Carolina

Mine Creek Trail Facts

States: North Carolina
Counties: Wake
Length: 6.5 miles
Trail end points: Sawmill Rd. and Crabtree Creek Trail nr. Generation Dr.
Trail surfaces: Asphalt, Dirt, Gravel
Trail category: Greenway/Non-RT
ID: 6585798
Trail activities: Bike, Inline Skating, Wheelchair Accessible, Mountain Biking, Walking

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Mine Creek Trail Description

The Mine Creek Trail consists of five distinct segments: Bent Creek (paved), Inman Connector (unpaved), Ironwood (paved), Lake Park (unpaved), Sawmill (unpaved) and Shelley Lake (paved). The segments vary in length from 0.25 mile to nearly 2.5 miles, for a total trail system distance of 6.55 miles.

The trail passes through exceptional bottomland forest and also features tree species such as ironwood, umbrella magnolia and river birch. Trail users will enjoy scenic views of Mine Creek as well as interesting rock outcrops at the southern end (Sawmill segment).

Watch for waterfowl or rent paddle boats at Shelley Lake (seasonal).

The southern terminus of the Mine Creek Trail links to Crabtree Creek Trail near Generation Road. North of Shelley Lake, the Mine Creek Trail connects to the Snelling Branch Trail heading east to Optimist Park.

Parking and Trail Access

Parking is available in several places along the route, including Shelley Lake, 1400 W. Millbrook Rd. For more information, contact:

Raleigh Parks & Recreation
222 West Hargett Street
Raleigh, NC 27601
919-890-3285
parks.raleighnc.gov

Mine Creek Trail Reviews

I began my ride at the northern end point of the trail on Sawmill Rd. A sign marks the trail as part of the Capital Area Greenway, but does not say Mine Creek Trail. This portion of the trail is a singletrack dirt path that winds through the woods, taking you over a few small wooden bridges, over many tree roots, close to the edge of the creek and navigating over a large rock near where it meets the next section of the trail. Riders inexperienced with riding on unpaved trails may wish to skip this section of the trail, as I found myself having to get off my bike several times to walk it close to the edge of the creek and over tree roots and drop-offs at the ends of the bridges.
The next section of the trail is called the Bent Creek Trail, and is paved so it's much easier to ride on. Right where the first unpaved segment from Sawmill Rd meets the Bent Creek Trail, there is a fork off to the left which is the East Fork of the Mine Creek Trail. It's not necessary to ride this portion of the trail unless you wish to access Longstreet Drive, or begin you ride from Longstreet Drive to avoid the unpaved section of the trail from Sawmill Rd.
The Bent Creek Trail leads to the Shelley Lake trail, which runs around Shelley Lake. I rode the trail on the western side of the lake, and got confused when I got down near its southern end close to W Millbrook Rd. If you're not careful, you will end up either in the parking lot for Shelley Lake park, or looping back north on the eastern side of the lake. A first time rider might be looking for a sign pointing to the Mine Creek Trail, but there isn't one. What you need to do is follow the signs toward the parking lot, and then look for a sign pointing toward the Ironwood Trail on your left. This trail will lead you under W Millbrook Rd, and continue south. When you reach North Hills Drive, look across the street to the left and you will see a sign for the Ironwood Trail where the trail resumes. Down the trail a little more you intersect with the Crabtree Creek Trail. Going to the left will take you to an extension leading to North Hills Park and points south. Going to the right will take you toward the Crabtree Valley Mall and points north.

Shelby lake is a very popular spot in Raleigh during nice weather, so parking there can be problematic during warmer days. The trail follows around the water way feeding to and from the recreational lake. Other lots to park at can be difficult to get back up to on bicycle due to steep inclines. This trail also connects to many others along the greenway offering lots of routes to explore and discover in case you're the type to get bored easily with the same route.

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