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Sycamore Trail



4.9 mile 8.0 kilometer point to point
98% Runnable


Ascent: 311' 95 m
Descent: -319' -97 m
High: 452' 138 m
Low: 266' 81 m


Avg Grade: 2% (1°)
Max Grade: 9% (5°)


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Trail shared by Mike Wilburn

An easy trail for running with minimal difficulty.

Mike Wilburn

Features Fall Colors · River/Creek

Park gates open at 8 AM

Runner Notes

Certain sections have roots and rocks.


This trail is located on the northern section of Umstead State Park with access from Glenwood Ave (Hwy 70). To access the trail, drive to the lower of two parking lots after passing the visitor center. From either parking area take the paved trail (Potts Brach Trail) south and follow the signs for Sycamore Trail. The actual trailhead is located between two shelters and is marked with Blue Triangles. The trail is similar to a lasso in shape and, in this instance, the lower section is done in a counter-clockwise direction.

The trail begins with a nice downhill that leads to Pots Branch Creek. Also, this hill makes for a nice finish at the end! From this point, the trail is mostly steady climb or descent with a pine needle/packed dirt base. There are a few sections where wash out has occurred and exposed rocks and roots.

The lasso section begins about 2 miles into the trail and going right continues downhill toward Sycamore Creek. This is a great chance to relax and let your pet, if adventuring with one, cool in the creek! The trail follows this creek for close to two miles and will cross over Graylyn Trail (Bridal Trail) for the first time.

Once the trail splits away there is a climb up from the creek to reach Graylyn Trail for the 2nd time. This section of the trail tends to hold water and has a few muddy sections. After crossing Graylyn Trail, you'll reach the split in the trail. Follow the sign that says Parking and make your way back to the trailhead.

In summary, the trail is not very technical with a few sections that have a lot of tree roots. The footing is consistent for the most part with exception to the few sections where washout and tree roots are exposed.

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Mar 17, 2019
Jen Walton
Jan 26, 2019
Jen Walton
Very busy. But nice trail 7.3mi
Nov 15, 2015
Gonzalez Carlos

Trail Ratings

  3.9 from 16 votes


  3.9 from 16 votes
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in North Carolina


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1,435 Since Apr 14, 2015



View on the Sycamore Trail Loop Umstead
Apr 14, 2015 near Cary, NC
Apr 14, 2015 near Cary, NC
The trail passes along the creek here
Apr 14, 2015 near Cary, NC
Path Company Mill Trail Umstead NC SP 0056
Apr 22, 2015 near Cary, NC
The dam along Pott's Branch Trail. with permission from Justin P
Mar 21, 2016 near Cary, NC
Pott's Branch in William B. Umstead State Park.
Mar 21, 2016 near Cary, NC


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