Thursday, December 23, 2010

Trail Review: Company Mill Trail at William B. Umstead State Park

Company Mill Trail

Trail Location:Umstead Park Map
William B. Umstead State Park | Raleigh, NC

Trail Distance:
5.8 miles

Trail Difficulty:

Elevation profile & map >>
See the Umstead park map >>

I imagine that most trail runners living in the Triangle know about Umstead. Ease of access to the park from points west and east make it one of the most convenient places to run trails in the Raleigh area. And, the Company Mill Trail is a fantastic representation of what Umstead offers the trail-lovin' runner.

If you haven't been there already, you'll want to enter the park at the Reedy Creek entrance via Harrison Ave. and I-40. Follow the wide, gravel path northwest from the parking lot to get to the Company Mill trail head. Orange squares nailed to trees lead you along the Company Mill trail. (If you're counting meters, I start running from the parking lot, not necessarily from the trail head)

With moderate technical terrain and a few decent hills to keep your leg muscles in check, the Company Mill Trail provides a great workout. You can take on the path at an easy pace for a laid back, but steady, run. Or, speed things up a bit with hill surges thrown into the mix for a good bit of trail training.

root-filled portion of the Company Mill Trail at UmsteadThe park map indicates that Company Mill measures 5.8 miles. Someone else's Garmin data shows that the trail measures 5.77 miles from the Reedy Creek entrance parking lot. So, both sources concur that the trail is a little under 6 miles.

portion of the Company Mill Trail at UmsteadMy Favorite Features of the Company Mill Trail:

  • At least 3 challenging hill climbs and descents
  • Gorgeous, extended views of the creek
  • Proximity to other trails within Umstead State Park for an extended run
  • Convenient location relative to North West Raleigh and Cary

Features I Dislike:

  • stairs built into the hill near the Reedy Creek Bridle Trail intersection


Given the distance, varied elevation, and diverse technical terrain; Company Mill is an excellent trail for both mildly short or long training runs. You can complete one lollipop loop for a decent run in about an hour. Or, run the course two or three times for a long run on a nice day. The trail doesn't get boring!

The Company Mill Trail elevation profile.
Check out an interactive map, too >>

check out the Company Mill Trail elevation profile

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