June 9, 2015
If you are on the gravel road, you missed the singletrack. There are probably 10 miles of it through the woods on either side of you when you are riding toward the airport. That section is referred to locally as 286 and is not spoken of very much due to the fact that there are trespassing signs which keep most from riding it. There seems to be a don't ask, don't tell policy on trail use between the riders and the Airport Authority. I have been riding here for the last 3 seasons regularly with no issues (not to say that it absolves me from bending the law a tad).
There are some great technical sections , especially along the Rocky Road trail, that will push the available travel in your forks. The locals maintain the trails and you will see active re-routing when sections become too worn as well as bridges, jumps and berms all by the riders for the riders. That coupled with several stream crossings and goat climbs = a great, easy to get to trail tucked right in the middle of the Raleigh/Cary city limits. I rarely run across more that 1 or 2 riders when I go btu everyone seems to know where the trail is. Most of the parked traffic is for the gravel run and I doubt that many of those riders know about our little 286. Take US 40 to the Harrison exit then turn right onto Westin Parkway. Another right at Old Reedy Creek Rd. will get you to the park entrance. Park after crossing over US 40 and look to your left for 4 trailheads. 3 of them are pretty close to the overpass bridge and the last is about 1/4 mile down the gravel road by a large oak where there is a pull off for parking. The trails are not marked in any easy to understand way so pay attention. I got lost on my first visit and ended up riding almost 12 miles before I found my way back to the car.
I have ridden in quite a few states and this has become one of my favorite haunts (less Asheville and SoCal). Do yourself a favor and and give this trail a fair shot.
I would like to leave more detail but I have to go ride now...
Crabtree if it had roots, rocks and logs.