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What to Do After the Log Art at Umstead State Park, Part 1 - Raleigh, NC

Welcome to Part 1 of “You Made it to the Umstead Log Art - Now What?” series. 😂

There’s going to be a few posts in this series, but the first one is going to be the most simple and basic:

You keep going.

I know, I know. True epiphanies being dropped here 😂, but hear me out.

The log art is on the Graylyn multi-use trail, which is a wide, flat, hard-packed trail. (See photo 2, also photo 6 for the map.) This is an easy trail to walk, making it an ideal option if you want to go just a little further - or even a lot further - with small kids. The trail does slope downhill, so just keep in mind it’ll be uphill to come back.

I ended up walking about 15 minutes with Ruth in the hiking backpack until we found this beautiful bridge and an area where you can get down by the creek. I always talk about having a “destination” for your hike, and this was a great one for us. (Thinking about total time for this hike, with Ruth in the hiking pack, it took about 10 minutes to get to the log art, then another 15 to get to the bridge, so I would say the hike there and back could be done in about an hour total. Longer, obviously, if your kids are walking.)

When we decided to head back, though, I made a mistake that I have made many times: underestimating the difficulty of a trail and overestimating my hiking skill.

Me: “Oh look! The Sycamore Trail is right here! We can take that all the way back up by the log art and get a different experience for the way back!” (See photos 6 & 7 here of the path we took.)

Yeah, that different experience was EXHAUSTING and really just too much for our level. You know yourself, your experience level, and your kids’ experience level best, so you have to make that choice for yourself - it’s a nice option if you can handle it! - but it was the wrong one for us. I at least got a workout, though! 😅

Some logistics -

• Park in the Sycamore Parking Lot

• No bathrooms on this trail (but there are bathrooms at other spots in the park like the visitor’s center)

• Not the most stroller friendly, but once you make it to the Graylyn Trail it’s a lot easier.

That’s it for now, but stay tuned for part 2 coming [probably] next week!

(Note: We're currently working on updating our website with our reviews. This review was originally posted on Instagram on October 13, 2023, and Facebook on May 21, 2024.)

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