Friday, December 28, 2012

Umstead Trail Runners: Have You Seen the Company Mill Trail Revision?

Umstead Company Mill Trail has a new section
This is new.

There was a time when I declared that I hated surprises. But, this isn't necessarily true (except in cases where the surprise is decidedly unpleasant or maliciously calculated). I actually love the unexpected. So, I was thrilled to see that there have been some conspicuous changes to the Company Mill Trail's route.

Specifically, the rather steep staircase on the east side of the loop has been replaced by a series of switchbacks on manicured, albeit narrow, ground. This new route takes the east-bound runner up the hillside on a more gradual incline and flattens out across the top before joining the original trail.

Umstead Company Mill Trail
This is part of steep climb that
the new portion replaced.

While this new portion of Company Mill is certainly less challenging than the wicked staircase/rocky trail combo that it replaced, it's nice to see more of the park. It's a pretty little section of the woods.

Overall, this new path is just a brief sojourn from what I am used to running on Company Mill. My guess is that this new terrain adds a bit of distance to the original trail's 5.8-mile route. But, I haven't seen any official or precise measurements relative to the new section yet.

If you haven't had the chance to run Company Mill since this change to the trail, have a look at the photos below to get a sense of what awaits you.

Umstead Company Mill Trail where the steps used to be
This is where that staircase used to be.
Umstead Company Mill Trail
Umstead Company Mill Trail
Umstead Company Mill Trail


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