“A great get away in the heart of the triangle with some scenic hiking down on Crabtree Creek.”
— Nick Cross
Birding · Fall Colors · River/Creek · Wildlife
A great section of trail that follows the creek.
This moderate trail is perfect for those looking for a more rugged experience than the Lake Trail
can provide while remaining close to the Triangle area. Enjoy this rolling route as it works its way down to Crabtree Creek and back, eventually completing a "lollipop" shaped trail.
Depart from the northwest corner of the Reedy Creek parking area. Follow the wide gravel trail for a couple of tenths of a mile to the trailhead sign and a large picnic shelter. Once at the Company Mill Trailhead, the trail begins to work its way down to Crabtree Creek with some gradual ups and downs along the way. The trail is quite rocky and rooty in some sections and crosses several small footbridges.
After approximately 1 mile, you'll come to Crabtree Creek. There are remnants of an old dam and some side trails that access the creek. Following the main trail, you'll cross Crabtree Creek on a footbridge. Once across the creek, the trail makes a loop back to the bridge. You can go either direction, but this description travels counter-clockwise, turning right after crossing the bridge.
The trail travels along the creek for a short bit, before starting to climb up to the bike and bridle trail. The trail meanders with some gradual ups and downs during the climb. Once at the bike and bridle trail, the route crosses the large trail and picks up on the other side. There is an option to cut approx. 1.3 miles from the route by heading left on the bike and bridle trail for approx. 0.5-miles to where the Company Mill Trail crosses again.
Continuing on the main route, the section of trail on the far side of the bike and bridle trail is some of the least traveled on the hike. The rocky and rooty character of the trail continues and after a couple of miles, it wanders around to another trail crossing of the bike and bridle trail. The trail picks up directly on the other side on an old roadbed. Descending gently towards Crabtree Creek, this is one of the more pleasant sections of the trail. Eventually, the trail drops to and then follows the creek, heading downstream for a very scenic stretch. Once back at the bridge, begin retracing the hike back in towards the parking area. Cross the bridge, and begin the gradual climb back to the trailhead.
Flora & Fauna
Piedmont hardwood forest including oaks, sycamore, and pine trees. Great leaf color during the fall (October-November).