Crabtree County Park Visitor Guide

Lying next to a flood control lake of over 500 acres, this 215-acre area has over 16 miles of walking trails, boating facilities, picnic areas, fishing and geocaching opportunities. There is also a large open field, which is perfect for kite flying or touch football.

There are trails looping around the lake which total six miles, and they have amazing views too. These continue for another 10 miles, and these sections make for excellent biking. Most of the trails have shady areas and have relatively mild elevations.

Those who are into their history will appreciate the ruins of a tenant farm from the 19th century, which still has a tenant house, tobacco ordering pit and stone well.

When the trail system was under construction, workers discovered Native American weapons from way back in the Archaic period, showing that this was once a hunting ground, and maybe a human settlement too, for the last 5000 years or more.

It was also discovered that this area once had bison, wolves, mountain lions and elk before the arrival of the first Europeans in the 17th century. Virgin hardwood forests made up most of the landscape during that time.

Make sure that you bring along sunscreen, water and bug spray if you plan to hike at this park. Dogs are allowed on a leash, but you can’t camp or swim in the lake. There are also grills available to cook meals, just bear in mind that wood fires are not permitted.

Directions

On I-40, head for RDU airport and take the Aviation Parkway exit heading south. You’ll see the entrance to Crabtree County Park on the left. You can either park at the first parking lot or near the boat ramp area. On the other side of the road from the parking lot you’ll see one of the main entrances to the trail. Connector C is another great route onto the trail.

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