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Ecology

An inviting trail at William B. Umstead State Park
Current status of park facilities   

As of September 11th, we have opened the visitor center. To enter the visitor center you MUST wear a mask, and there is a maximum of 6 people inside at all times.

The family campground and Crabtree shelter #2 are open daily.

Maple Hill Lodge and Youth Tent Camp is open only on Friday and Saturday, and there is a two-night minimum to rent. 

To make reservations for any of our facilities, you must book it online or by calling 1-877-722-6762.

Camp Lapihio, Camp Crabtree, Sycamore Cabins, Reedy Creek Shelters 1 & 2, and Crabtree Shelter 1 all remain CLOSED. 

There will also be NO BOAT RENTALS this year. We will resume rentals next spring.

Please note that this alert is updated only when something changes. Generally, state parks are following the phased reopening statewide. As of September 11, we are following the new guidelines under phase 2.5.

 Last updated on: Friday, September 11, 2020

Important information about visiting the park. Please read before coming to the park.   

Important Information Before Visiting:

1.  Bring WATER!  There are no water fountains, and it is VERY HOT, please bring enough water to drink.

2.  Bring a MAP!  You can print maps online before you come to the park or pick one up at our Visitor Center or trail Kiosks.  We have over 30 MILES of trails in the park and many trails are not loop trails so please bring a map and plan your hike.  Pay special attenton to the distance and difficulty rating of the trails you will be on.

3.  Gates lock at 8:00pm. Please plan your visit so you are able to leave before the gates lock.
Park hours will be 8:00am to 8:00pm on both sides of the park. *On Saturday and Sunday mornings, the Reedy Creek entrance at Harrison Avenue and I-40 will open at 7:00am. The Crabtree entrance at Glenwood Avenue will open at 8:00am seven days a week. Entry before or after operating hours is trespassing.
*IMPORTANT: The park will close when full and no cars will be allowed to enter until more parking becomes available.  As one vehicle leaves the park, the next vehicle in line will be allowed to enter.

4. We are opening trails and restrooms to provide fresh air and exercise during this difficult time. Visitors should make their visits brief and focus on moving through the park, without stopping any place where multiple people may be in one area. This is not the time to “hang out” at the park.

5.  Please bring hand sanitizer and go to the bathroom before coming to the park. Restrooms will be open, but we have limited supplies of toilet paper and soap, so please conserve.

6.  Please follow all current state guidelines on social distancing and gatherings. Visitors should maintain a social distance, including on trails — move aside for people to pass.

7.  Visitors should wear a face covering, like a bandana or a mask, that allows them to breathe easily on the trail without spreading as many germs.

8.  If you are hiking in a group, walk single file when you are passing someone on a trail.

*Special Message:  We are still operating the park on a limited opening capacity to allow people to visit and enjoy the park and the outdoors while also adjusting operations to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.  COVID-19 Guidelines and Recommendations should still be followed.  Please keep proper social distance, allow room for others to pass, and avoid gathering in groups.

Please also respect park staff who have been given specific operational guidelines for cleaning and social distancing requirements for their safety and to reduce the potential spread of infection.

*Visitor behavior is IMPERATIVE to create conditions that will allow us to keep our parks open. Failure to respect these guidelines could cause parks to be closed and may impact additional park facilities from reopening.*

 Last updated on: Friday, September 11, 2020


Map of North Carolina – William B. Umstead State Park


Contact the park
 

919-571-4170

william.umstead@ncparks.gov

 


Addresses
 

Crabtree Creek access
and visitor center

8801 Glenwood Ave.
Raleigh, NC 27617

GPS: 35.8905, -78.7502

 

Reedy Creek access

2100 N. Harrison Ave.
Cary, NC 27513

GPS: 35.8334, -78.7603

 


Hours
 

► 

  • November to February:
    8:00am to 6:00pm
     
  • March to April:
    8:00am to 8:00pm
     
  • May to August:
    8:00am to 9:00pm
     
  • September to October:
    8:00am to 8:00pm
     
  • Closed Christmas Day
     

► 

  • November to February:
    8:00am to 6:00pm
     
  • March to April:
    8:00am to 8:00pm
     
  • May to August:
    8:00am to 9:00pm
     
  • September to October:
    8:00am to 8:00pm
     
  • Closed Christmas Day
     

► 

  • The visitor center is currently closed until further notice due to COVID-19 precautions.
     
  • Open daily:
    9:00am to 5:00pm
     
  • Exhibit hall open daily:
    9:00am to 4:30pm
     
  • Closed Christmas Day
     

► 

  • Tent and trailer family campground is open from April 1 to October 31
     
  • The campground gates currently open at 8:00am and close at 9:00pm due to COVID-19 procedures. These new campground gate hours are in effect until further notice.
     
  • April:
    7:00am to 9:00pm
     
  • May to August:
    7:00am to 10:00pm
     
  • September to October:
    7:00am to 9:00pm

 


 

 

 

Natural resources

Get plant and animal checklists at the park office.

Relics of the past are still found throughout William B. Umstead State Park. The land was once shaped and altered to develop home sites, roadbeds, and agricultural fields. Following designation as a park, young forests returned and recreational facilities were added.

The past continues to influence the park’s ecology. The stone dams of grist mills held back sediments and shaped the stream bank. Roadbeds remain marked in the landscape. And ornamental plants continue to endure amidst the forest.

When the land was settled, the residing families subsequently introduced ornamental plant species into their landscapes. While the plants provided enjoyment and aesthetics, many were non-native and invasive. Once the park was established, these species were left unabated and continued to grow with an impact on native vegetation. The prevalence of non-native plants and their affect on the ecology can still be seen within the park.

The change in land use from farm to forest has allowed signs of lasting human impacts to converge with elements of the natural world. Demonstrating the ways state parks preserve the marks of history as well as the natural ecosystems.

Unique flora and fauna native to North Carolina can be found throughout the park. The varying forest types provide habitat for beavers, raccoons, deer, and a multitude of bird species. Belted kingfishers and great blue herons are commonly seen near streams and lakes. A variety of trees, shrubs, ferns and wildflowers offer beauty in the midst of every season.

Management of the park includes preserving the native ecosystems and natural areas. The Piedmont Beech Natural Area, a 50-acre tract of towering beech trees, has been included in the National Registry of Natural Landmarks. The tract exemplifies a forest type found in the piedmont prior to development. Due to the sensitive nature of the area, access is allowed only by permit. Crabtree Shrub Slopes Natural Area contains shrub species uncommon in the piedmont region including rhododendron and laurel. Access is available from Company Mill Trail.

The park continues to provide a view into North Carolina’s unique flora and fauna. And many visitors find there is reason to return, within each season and in each year, the park’s ecology shows traces of change.