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Umstead State Park, Raleigh

4.6
#3 of 12 in Parks in Raleigh
State Park Wildlife Area
William B. Umstead State Park is a North Carolina state park in Wake County, North Carolina in the United States. It covers 5,599acre nestled between the expanding cities of Raleigh, Cary, and Durham, North Carolina. It offers hiking, bridle, and bike trails, boat rentals, camping, picnic areas, and educational programs.Part of the East Coast Greenway, a 3,000 mile long system of trails connecting Maine to Florida, runs through the park.HistoryLong 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 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.
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Where to stay in Raleigh

Staying downtown provides the most convenient access to Raleigh's leading attractions. You'll find a couple of large, efficient hotels here--they feature a large volume of beds. The area around the North Campus of North Carolina State University lies just west of downtown and features a handful of additional hotels. A cluster of national chain hotels and motels lies in the midtown area north of downtown. There are a couple of bus lines that provide easy access to downtown from here, so this area serves as a suitable option if you cannot find accommodation in the city center. The intersection of I-440 and Route 70 to the northwest of downtown features numerous hotels and motels, but these largely cater to business travelers who require convenient access to both downtown and the airport.
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  • Great place to get away from the city and enter a country setting. Great place to bring a bag lunch and eat among nature  more »
  • Spend a day in the forest and rejuvenate your soul! There are so many facets of Umstead, the Cary or the Glenwood entrance- both are great and offer majestic time under an umbrella of trees! The park ...  more »
  • I love going here, a nice park with trails and a good visitor center and lake. Trails are not usually overcrowded. Take a break from all the asphalt...  more »