2023 is the Year of the Trail in NC

January 18, 2023 | By: Raleigh Orthopaedic Team

2023 is the Year of the Trail in NC

Whether you want to walk, run, hike, bike, paddle, or ride, there’s a local trail for everyone.

If your New Year’s resolutions involve getting outside more or leveling up your weekly walks, you’re in luck — 2023 is the Year of the Trail in NC. This campaign celebrates our state’s vast network of trails, greenways, and blueways through guided adventures, learning opportunities, workdays, and more.

In 2021, the NC General Assembly designated 2023 as the Year of the Trail. Why? This year marks the 50th anniversary of the 1973 North Carolina Trails System Act, which created the NC Trails Program.

NC is the Great Trails State and it shows. Trails are the cornerstone of outdoor recreation in NC, which provides 260,000+ jobs and has an economic impact of more than $28 billion. NC has 12 state trails and 40+ state parks with hundreds of miles of trails

Whether you want to walk, run, hike, bike, paddle, or ride, there’s a local trail for everyone.

Here are 5 of our favorite Lakes and State Parks bustling with trails!


4601 Avent Ferry Rd, Raleigh, NC 27606

Lake Johnson has paved greenway and natural surface trails, fishing, public programs, seasonal boat rentals, hammock hookups, indoor and outdoor facility rentals, and a swimming pool.

Paved Greenway

  • Approximately 2.8 miles of paved greenway loops around the east side of the lake and is a part of the Walnut Creek Greenway Trail
  • Trailhead parking:
    • Lake Dam parking lot: 1320 Lake Dam Rd.
    • South parking lot: 5041 Avent Ferry Rd.

Natural Surface Trails

  • Approximately 1.5 miles of unpaved, natural surface trail that loops around the west side of the lake, getting you closer to nature
  • Trailhead parking:
    • Thomas G Crowder Woodland Center: 5611 Jaguar Park Dr.
    • South Parking Lot: 5041 Avent Ferry Rd.


8801 Glenwood Ave., Raleigh, NC 27617 (Crabtree Creek Entrance)

2100 N. Harrison Ave., Cary, NC 27513 (Reedy Creek Entrance)

Located in Wake County 10 miles northwest of downtown Raleigh, William B. Umstead State Park is a cherished retreat from bustling urban life. The park features an extensive network of hiking and multiuse trails, as well as three manmade lakes and their tributaries that are perfect for fishing. Both park entrances offer picnic shelters, and Crabtree Creek offers camping areas. Divided into two sections, Crabtree Creek and Reedy Creek, this 5,579-acre park is easily accessible from Interstate 40 and US 70.


  • Loblolly Trail: 2.9mi
  • Company Mill Trail: 5.9mi
  • Sycamore Trail: 7.2mi
  • Sal’s Branch Trail: 2.8mi
  • Reedy Creek Trail: 3.7mi
  • Pott’s Branch Trail: 1.3mi
  • North Turkey Creek Trail: 2.6mi
  • South Turkey Creek Trail: 8mi


1400 W. Millbrook Rd., Raleigh, NC 27614

This 53-acre lake and park provides two miles of paved, scenic greenway trails with exercise workout stations. Visitors may enjoy fishing, biking, hiking and picnicking.


  • 2 miles of paved scenic greenway trails around the lake


Everett Jordan Lake (aka Jordan Lake) sits in the middle of North Carolina about 30 minutes west of Raleigh. This man-made 14,000-acre reservoir is part of the almost 47,000-acre Jordan Lake State Recreation Area. It features (9) access areas, over 1,000 sites for single/group camping and RVing, (7) swim beaches and (14) miles of hiking trails. If you’re into hiking, picnicking, boating, fishing, sailing, kayaking, canoeing, jet skiing or just lounging on the beach . . . Jordan Lake has what you need.


  • Crosswinds Campground:
  • Parkers Creek – 3.2mi
  • Seaforth Pond Trail – 2.0mi
  • Vista Point Red Trail – 2.5mi
  • Vista Point Blue Trail – 1.1mi
  • Jordan Lake Forest Demonstration Trail  – 1.6mi
  • New Hope Overlook Blue Route – 2.6mi
  • New Hope Red Route – 5.7mi
  • Poes Ridge Trail – 3.6mi
  • Ebenezer Church Old Oak Trail – 1.8mi
  • Poplar Point Trail – 3.5mi


13304 Creedmoor Rd., Wake Forest, NC 27587

With over 12,400 acres of water, Falls Lake is one of the largest recreational facilities in the state, offering a wide variety of activities. Camping, hiking, fishing, birding, boating and swimming are available, as well as picnic areas and playgrounds. The Falls Lake Trail is a 12.9-mile out-and-back trail near Wake Forest, North Carolina and includes a portion of the Mountain-To-Sea Trail.