Raleigh and its surrounding areas are a bicyclist’s haven. Here you can find some of the best bike trails around, and take advantage of the city’s renowned greenways which connect major points of interest in the city and feature well-manicured trails for those who prefer to pedal instead of drive. Whether you’re looking for an easy paved path or a challenging trail, we’ve done the leg work and rounded up the top places for biking in Raleigh.
Crabtree Creek Trail
For a spin around suburbia, set out on Crabtree Creek Trail, which winds along Crabtree Creek for 12 miles through residential and commercial areas. You’ll also cross the occasional forested greenways and city parks, and a few large rock outcroppings with steep slopes add to the wild views of the creek. Pause at Lassiter Mill Park to see the former site of Lassiter Mill Dam and the former site of grist mill built in 1764. Swing by the gazebo on the boardwalk over the wetlands near Raleigh Boulevard to catch a glimpse of blue herons and waterfowl.
Neuse River Greenway Trail
The Neuse River Greenway Trail is a segment of Raleigh’s Capital Greenway System that consists of 27.5 miles of paved trail. Pedal through wetlands, historical sights, and agricultural fields. If you want a longer ride, you’re in luck because the Neuse River Greenway Trail is also part of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail, which runs all the way across North Carolina from the Great Smoky Mountains to the Outer Banks. If you’re cycling on the trail in the spring, be sure to make a pit stop at mile 23 to snap a photo of the stunning acres of golden sunflowers blooming just off the trail.
American Tobacco Trail
The American Tobacco Trail runs along an abandoned railroad bed originally built for the American Tobacco Company in the 1970s. The flat, smooth asphalt trail stretches from Durham 23 miles through Chatham County to Wake County. Be prepared to share the road with walkers, rollerbladers, and wheelchair users as well as other bikers. The rural sections are home to hawks, songbirds, owls, turtles, beavers, deer, and other wildlife, so keep your eyes peeled!
Lake Johnson Nature Park
If it’s a scenic ride you want, then Lake Johnson Nature Park is the place to go. Follow the 3-mile paved trail that encompasses the lake and take in the view. The trees along the trail offer plenty of shade to help keep you cool. There are a few spots to sit and relax on the trail, so feel free to bring a picnic and take a breather. Want to hang out a little longer at the lake? Stop by Waterfront Center to rent a boat, and you can also rent a rod and reel for free!
Umstead Park offers the ultimate beginners ride for mountain biking. The extensive network of gravel, multi-use trails at the William B. Umstead State Park make it a favorite destination for cyclists in the area. Leave the bustle of the city behind as you pedal through 13 miles of dense woods, over babbling creeks, and around picturesque lakes. You might pass a horse or two as equestrians share the trails with bikers. If the trail ends too fast, you can continue riding to Lake Crabtree.
Black Creek Greenway
Black Creek Greenway is one of Cary’s longest and most popular trails. It connects several recreational and open space areas, stretching 7 miles from Bond Park to Lake Crabtree in the north. Along the way, you can stop at Sk8-Cary Skate Park and watch young people showing off their moves. Whether you end your ride at Bond Lake or Lake Crabtree, you can hike, play a game of volleyball, have a picnic, or go fishing to extend your day of fun in the sun.
Capital Area Greenway
Want to get away from traffic and take in Raleigh’s natural beauty? The Capital Area Greenway System is a network of public open spaces and recreational trails that locals love to use for a number of activities, including hiking, fishing, running, and yes, biking. The Greenway’s paved trails connect many of Raleigh’s parks and give residents access to many of the city’s major ecological features that set the area apart.
There’s still plenty of summer left, so get out and enjoy these beautiful bike trails in Raleigh! After you’re back, be sure to visit us – we’d love to hear about your outdoor adventures and show you around. You can also schedule a tour online or give us a call at (919) 439-4787.
Hope to see you soon!