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William B. Umstead State Park
8801 Glenwood Avenue
Raleigh, NC 27612
(919) 571-4170

Park Events


Photo Hike
05/31/17 - 05/31/17

National Trails Day
06/03/17 - 06/03/17

Park Description

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 5,577-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.

Park history
Long before the first settlers, the area now known as William B. Umstead State Park was an untamed land. American bison, elk, bobcats and wolves roamed majestic forests of oak, hickory and beech. Native Americans later inhabited the land and avenues of trade were developed nearby. Such avenues included the Occoneeche trail to the north and the Pee Dee trail to the south. In 1774, land grants opened the area for settlement.

Forests were cleared as agricultural interests sprouted. While early farming efforts were successful, poor cultivation practices and one-crop production led to depletion and erosion of the soil. During the Depression, farmers made futile attempts to grow cotton in worn-out soil around Crabtree Creek.

In 1934, under the Resettlement Administration, federal and state agencies united to buy 5,000 acres of this submarginal land to develop a recreation area. The Civilian Conservation Corps, as well as the Works Progress Administration, helped construct the site while providing much needed jobs. Four camps along with day-use and picnic facilities were built and the park opened to the public in 1937.

The state purchased this area, known as Crabtree Creek Recreation Area, for $1, and more facilities were built as the General Assembly made its first state parks division appropriation in the 1940s. In 1950, more than 1,000 acres of the park were established as a separate park for African-Americans. This area was named Reedy Creek State Park. Crabtree Creek Recreation Area was renamed a few years later after former Governor William Bradley Umstead because of his conservation efforts. In 1966, the Crabtree Creek and Reedy Creek areas were united under the same name; William B. Umstead State Park was open to everyone.

Hours of Operation: Park hours:

November - February 8am-6pm, March - April & September - October 8am-8pm, May - August 8am-9pm Closed on Christmas Day

Fees: No entry fees for this park
Metro Region: Triangle, NC
Park Management: State

BBQ Grill   Benches   Biking-Mountain   Boat Rental Canoe/Kayak   Camping: Cabins   Camping: Tents   Fishing   Historical Structure   Nature Reserve   Open Space   Parking   Picnic Tables   Pond/Stream/Lake   Restrooms   Shelter/Pavillion   Showers / Locker Room   Swimming-Nature   Trails, Natural Surface   Volleyball Courts   Water Fountain   Wildlife Viewing   

Wake County Parks and Open Space long term
Wake County Parks and Recreation Short Term 2