Published Somedays

Lake Crabtree Trail Report

(updated: Dec 22, 2008)

Guest post by Sir Peanut

If you ever have to drop a friend, loved one, or that crazy bum that lives down the street at the Raleigh airport don't fret! Instead pack your mountain bike and head over to Lake Crabtree County Park for some riding! Located off of I-40 on exit 285 heading towards Morrisville, this park is just a short drive from the airport and a perfect place to ride if you are early to pick up a friend at the airport or dropping one off and looking for a ride afterward.

First off this trail is maintained very well. This was obvious, you could tell there had been little riding out there due to the recent rain the area has been getting. They close the trail regularly during and after rainy days to make sure the trail is not ripped to shreds. If you plan on riding up there and want to know the status of the trails you can call 460-3390 to get current info regarding the trail conditions and closings or .

"Ok enough already!" your saying! "What about the trail!" Well since you asked I'll tell you. The Lake Crabtree trails are mix of several short loops and connectors. One thing I recommend is either hook up with someone from that area that knows the trail well and can give you a good route or pick up a trail map at the entrance to the trail. In total there are 6 small loops, with none of them more than 1.8 miles in length, and 5 connectors ranging from .2 to .7 miles.

The trails themselves are pretty smooth. There are very few technical features that would cause anyone to have trouble throughout the trail. What the trail builders have done here is work with the land and built the best type of trail for what they had to work with. What has resulted is a fast, flowy, but not technical gem. They have added a few technical features here and there like log piles and a couple small rock gardens to give the advanced rider a bit of a challenge. Generally though you will not have much to worry about in terms of obstacles, just hop on the bike and go. This trail is great for the beginner mountain biker that is looking to improve his/her handling skills before attempting some of the more advanced trails in the Raleigh area.

Meanwhile the folks in the Raleigh area have also built some other stuff on the Crabtree trails. Located off of Loop 2 there are two fun trail features.. First, there was a small, but substantial, dirt jumping section.

There are 4 jumps here back to back with a bermed corner at the end to throw you back in the direction of the beginning. For those of you that enjoy jumping, this looked like a lot of fun. Soon thereafter on Loop 2 you also come across the Crabtree pump track!

The berms on this particular track aren't as high as the ones we have at Blue Clay but it appears to flow just as well. Lots of fun rollers and small bermed corners make it a quick and flowy ride that really gives you the work out you might desire.

One last thing I came across while riding the trail was located off of Loop 5 if I remember correctly. Riding along I came up on multiple skill sections. One of which was for advanced riders and the other for beginners. Each had skinnys and one of them had a teeter totter for those who dared.

Set of skinnys from the advanced skill section seen here

Teeter Totter from the other skill section.

All in all Lake Crabtree was defiantly an enjoyable ride. I can't really complain about much however, there was one thing that was always in my ear. Throughout the entire ride I could constantly hear the buzz of cars. I guess it shouldn't come as a surprise with Aviation Boulevard and Interstate 40 so close but it did kind of ruin the Zen moment I tend to get from riding new trails (or at least new to me). While I understand there is nothing I can do about it, that doesn't mean I can’t whine about it. However, I have to say it was not just the trails, but the entire park that appeared well maintained. At least twice I encountered separate families of deer just walking along in the woods enjoying the peaceful day. The people that ride and hike in that area appear to really respect the trail and the woods that hold them. I personally saw almost no trash anywhere on the trail. In the end I think I'd give this trail an overall grade of 3 out of 5. Good flow, fast, lacks the technical stuff, but has a lot of added features that make up for it! Next time you have to go to the airport bring the bike and plan some time to ride!

View of Lake Crabtree from the Parking Lot.

Very few log piles at Crabtree, most of them right here!

Another view of the Lake: From the trail.

View from the trail: As you can see, you are never far from I-40.

Filed Under: Ride Reports > North Carolina > Raleigh


1. SBA said...

You beat me to it, Austin. I'll be posting a Crabtree video soon. There are a lot more trails here than meets the eye.

Dec 22, 2008 @ 8:37 PM

2. Sir Peanuts said...

Thats what i was told, didn't get to ride them though...also was asked not to mention "them"

Dec 22, 2008 @ 8:41 PM

3. JMoney said...

Definatly like the dirt jumps and skill section. The trail sounds very very fun also.

Dec 23, 2008 @ 6:53 AM

4. HaroShredder said...

Those trails are a lot of fun. However, you may not have known that you were very close to some great illegal trails that I would rather not post on here, very technical, very fast, not maintained, just the way I like them. If you are interested in the location, send me a PM and I will do my best to get you there, just keep it low-pro. I will be in the RTP area tomorrow and Christmas Day, I will be riding the trails I mentioned earlier.

Dec 23, 2008 @ 6:38 PM

5. Sir Peanuts said...

Don't u worry, i have the directions. The weather prevented me from getting to play with on them that day. I'll get to it next time don't u worry.

Dec 23, 2008 @ 7:16 PM

6. Theguywholikesyellow said...

Sounds like our trails up here are getting some praise down east, glad you enjoyed them, and I'll look forward to seeing some of you out on these trails.


Dec 27, 2008 @ 9:00 AM


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