Reedy Creek Trail

North Carolina

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Reedy Creek Trail Facts

States: North Carolina
Counties: Wake
Length: 5 miles
Trail end points: Trenton Rd. nr. Wm. B. Umstead Park and Hillsborough St. & Faircloth St.
Trail surfaces: Asphalt, Concrete
Trail category: Greenway/Non-RT
ID: 6585805
Trail activities: Bike, Walking

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Reedy Creek Trail Description

The Reedy Creek Trail links William B. Umstead State Park to Meredith College. Beginning at the edge of Umstead State Park, the trail passes among some of the area's feature attractions, including the North Carolina Museum of Art (enjoy the outdoor sculpture), an unusual stand of dogwood trees right along the trail, Prairie Creek Ecocenter and Schenck Forest.

Parking and Trail Access

There is a parking lot at 2110 Blue Ridge Road. For more information on other parking places and access points, contact:

Raleigh Parks & Recreation
222 West Hargett Street
Raleigh, NC 27601

Reedy Creek Trail Reviews

The Loblolly trail from Reedy Creek parking lot to the Reedy Creek bridal trail and access road is approximately 2.5 miles. Taking the bridal trail to the Reedy Creek Lake then turning back to the parking lot and service road adds about another 2 miles... For seniors citizens, the length of this hike was doable, but very challenging. The graveled service road alongside the lake to the paved service road is uphill the entire way. Might be better to do this hike in reverse...could be more interesting.

My husband, dog, and I had a great time on the Loblolly trail today. Flashes are clear. Maintenance is good. No spectacular sites, but it's a solid little hike. We did a lot of the trail and came back on the larger access road. We hiked 4.5 miles.

I was a little disappointed with the Reedy Creek Trail. I started out at the very north (or should I say west?) end of the trail, where Reedy Creek Rd meets Trenton Rd. Unfortunately, there is no parking available at this end of the trail. There are many no parking signs posted on both sides of Reedy Creek Rd, and you will also see some at the entrances of the nearby housing developments. I parked farther up Trenton Rd and biked back to where it meets Reedy Creek Rd.

The first part of the trail runs past some nice looking homes before it passes by some land owned by the State of North Carolina for equine research. The paved trail is a few feet in from the road, and continues east toward Edwards Mill Rd. There is little shade on most of this segment of the trail.

Once you cross Edwards Mill Rd, you'll be riding on a sidewalk that passes by some office buildings, laboratories and military buildings. Again, there is little shade available on this segment. Going straight down Reedy Creek Rd will take you to the intersection with Blue Ridge Rd, and you will be across the street from the entrance to the NC Museum of Art.

There is a parking area across the street if you don't want to ride the trail from Trenton Rd where parking is difficult. Once you get onto the museum property, look for small signs pointing you to the Museum Trail and Greenway. Bear to your right at any forks to stay on the Reedy Creek Trail. You'll begin going downhill and pick up speed easily, but soon face an uphill climb. The good thing about riding through the museum property is that there is much shade provided by the trees there; the bad thing is that the trail is very hilly on this segment.

Eventually you will reach a bridge that will lead you across the highway toward Meredith College. If you don't wish to go toward the college or Hillsborough St, you can pick up the House Creek Trail on your left after you cross the bridge. A little farther down the trail there will be a fork on your right to pick up the Rocky Branch Trail. Stay to your left here if you wish to continue toward the college and Hillsborough St. You'll soon pass behind some athletic fields and buildings on the Meredith College campus. The trail continues past the college's entrance drive until it ends at the intersection of Hillsborough and Faircloth streets at the border of the college property.
If you wish to continue riding, a sign across the street (on Gorman St) will point you in the direction of NC State University, Pullen Park and downtown Raleigh.

Except for when you are riding on the NC Museum of Art property, much of this trail is exposed with little shade, so I don't recommend riding it on a hot, sunny day. This is not a rail-trail, so don't expect it to be completely flat. The section on the museum property can be challenging if you are older or not in good physical shape. The trail does not seem to come close to Reedy Creek at all, as I did not see any water anywhere during my ride.


I rode the Reedy Creek trail last week (4/27/12) and was somewhat disappointed. It is paved and well maintained but it's not a rail trail. The name might lead you to believe as it did me that it follows the creek and is relatively flat but that would be wrong. The creek was rarely visible and the hills were real workouts. Unfortunately, on many of the hills the turns are way too sharp not to have to ride the brakes when going down especially with all the walkers strolling along in this urban area. So you work hard going up and then throw it all away to the brakes on the downhill. The trail continues into the Umstead State park where it becomes a wide dirt/gravel road - the kind where cars won’t go over about 20 unless they want to tear up their lower body paint from the all the stones. Again, well maintained but way to rough to enjoy any downhill coasting.

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