Biking on Lake Crabtree Loop Trail
The 8-mile Lake Crabtree Loop connects the best parts of the Black Creek Greenway with the Crabtree Creek Greenway and Weston Park Greenway for a ‘loop ride’. I put the quotes around ‘loop ride’ because bike loops in Cary and Raleigh all require a little route finding and the use of connector roads.
What makes this trail special is the extended riding along Lake Crabtree, the chance to explore North Cary Park, and the deep, shaded canyons along Black Creek. This ride is also a perfect introduction to bike riding in Raleigh / Cary, with what you’ll see along the way. Plus, you will notice some oddities in naming and route finding that you will see repeated in the city.
I started the ride from the Umstead Hotel and Spa, North Carolina’s only 5-star hotel and a magnificent home base for a Raleigh biking getaway. From there, it’s 1.7 miles to the Old Reedy Creek Trailhead (which ironically isn’t on the Reedy Creek Trail). Note– if you’re not staying at the Umstead, you’ll want to start and finish this ride from the trailhead.
As you head around Lake Crabtree, you cross the picturesque Crabtree Creek Bridge on the City of Cary Crabtree Creek Greenway (not to be confused with the Capital Greenway Crabtree Creek Trail). A little route finding gets you to North Cary Park, which is remarkably hilly as it drops into the Black Creek drainage. The last little bit of route finding is the 200′ climb up Tynemouth Drive. I like this greenway exit because you get the most time on the Black Creek Greenway while climbing on small residential streets instead of the larger Weston Parkway.