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The Lake Trail is a great urban escape and one of the best in the Triangle area!

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331' 101 m


274' 84 m


205' 62 m


208' 63 m



Avg Grade (1°)


Max Grade (6°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Lake · Views

Family Friendly Though the full trail might be a bit difficult for youngsters to manage, taking parts of this one can be a wonderful way for the whole family to enjoy the outdoors.

Closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day.


This gentle path makes for an enjoyable tour around Lake Crabtree. Whether you're looking for a quick outing or want to linger at multiple resting points, this hike is sure to please!

Need to Know

The Lake Trail is closed in one section as part of a Cary Greenway Project. Expected to reopen Fall 2018. To circumnavigate the lake, it is possible with one bit of road hiking that is a little hazardous. The Lake Trail is closed off on Black Creek Greenway. Ignore the turn and continue on the greenway before turning right into North Cary Park. Exit the park onto Norwell Blvd, cross the road and continue a short stretch before turning left onto Weston Greenway. Continue the whole section of this Greenway. It exits onto Evans Road. A short hazardous road crossing over the bridge will allow one to bypass the construction work at this point and rejoin the Lake Trail to close the loop. Note I40 construction is due to commence by the entrance to Crabtree, and this is resulting in some additional rerouting of the Lake Trail by the section which skirts Aviation Pkwy. A new section is currently under construction. More information can be found on the Lake Crabtree website.


The Lake Trail is a 6.5-mile loop that follows the shores of Lake Crabtree. Though it is multi-use, you'll still feel as though you've escaped into the wilderness. Starting at the main parking area in Lake Crabtree County Park, you can choose to complete this loop in either direction, as the terrain is similar no matter which direction you choose. The portions of the trail that navigate the northern edges of the lake will be a bit more hilly, but it's nothing too strenuous.

Highlights along the way include the Heather Lee Carr Memorial Overlook, which allows hikers a serene stopping place to admire the waters of the lake. Conveniently placed benches entice passers-by to stop to enjoy the scenery before moving on. From this vantage point, it is possible to admire the wildlife present around the water's edge, and the whole family will enjoy observing the park residents going about their daily habits.

As you continue on your way, the Black Creek Footbridge provides another wonderful stopping point. Spanning a small body of water, this is a perfect place to catch a glimpse of some of the area's insects, birds, and amphibians. Taking a small break here is definitely encouraged.

If you're seeking a woodlands escape without having to travel very far, the Lake Trail is the perfect compromise. You'll be able to enjoy the lake shore, admire some of North Carolina's natives, and get some sunshine all without sacrificing creature comforts such as water fountains and restrooms.


Shared By:

Mikhaila Redovian with improvements by Paul Morea

Trail Ratings

  3.7 from 7 votes


  3.7 from 7 votes
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in North Carolina


26 Views Last Month
4,485 Since Oct 13, 2016
Intermediate Intermediate



A sunset and sundog over Lake Crabtree.
Oct 13, 2016 near Morrisv…, NC
Footbridge over Lake Crabtree
Dec 25, 2018 near Morrisv…, NC
Foot bridge
Dec 25, 2018 near Morrisv…, NC
Lake Crabtree in the fall.
Oct 13, 2016 near Morrisv…, NC
Trailhead for Cary Greenway at Old Reedy Creek Road
Jan 9, 2018 near Cary, NC
New trailhead for Reedy Creek Greenway.
Sep 17, 2017 near Cary, NC


Current Trail Conditions

All Clear 28 days ago
Add Your Check-In


May 1, 2021
Ali M
Sep 6, 2020
Faadhil Moheed
Easy hike, too close to roads 5.8mi — 2h 05m
Mar 2, 2019
Jared Brickman
Feb 14, 2019
Trail is STILL closed :(
Jan 6, 2019
Caroline Mak
Lake Trail 6.8mi
Apr 30, 2017
Nicole Erbel

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