ASK THE GOAT: Local trails
Goat: “I do not want to run Kiwanis anymore. I have put more miles on that and the Endor Trail than I can bear. Where are some local trails in the Sanford area?” Signed “Trail Me”
Dear Trail Me: You are definitely in for a treat. If you are looking for truly local, you have both Governor’s Creek Mountain Bike Trail and the newly revamped San Lee Park Trail systems.
If you are willing to expand your search to “within an hour of Sanford,” I have some treasures that will truly blow your mind. Central North Carolina is blessed with long, varied technical trails. I will give you some of the best:
The All American Trail, from its web site is, "a 10- to 15-foot-wide unpaved pathway designed for use by hikers, runners and bicyclers. The trail (currently 11 miles long) follows the perimeter boundary of Fort Bragg through North Carolina’s Sandhills Region and includes a 1,000-foot boardwalk that crosses Rockfish Creek and its wetlands. The terrain is mixed with sections ranging from nearly flat to fairly hilly.”
The AA Trail is the location of the NCFA 50K ultra run each January.
Weymouth Woods is a 900-acre natural preserve filled with longleaf pine bog spicebush. The park consists of sandy paths, packed dirt and some fairly difficult technical trail. Known for its beauty and serenity, this park also serves as the host site to the Weymouth Woods 100K each year.
William B. Umstead State Park is a 5,579-acre park centrally located between Raleigh, Cary, Durham and Research Triangle Park. Umstead is divided into two sections, Crabtree Creek and Reedy Creek, but this vast area is now being interconnected with Raleigh’s other trail systems throughout the city, Umstead is a cornucopia of double-track, single-track and technical trails. It has everything you would need. Umstead is also the location of both a marathon event and the Umstead 50/100M Endurance Run each spring.
Raven Rock State Park is located in the Lillington area. It has a series of varying trails that offer many distances and difficulties. Some of the more notable are Campbell Creek Loop, Raven Rock Loop and Fish Traps. By weaving through them all, you can run over 13 miles. Switch directions and you can take in a marathon without seeing anything the same way twice. The park has beautiful scenery with waterfalls and thick greenery, Raven Rock is a marvel to behold. It also is a host to many events, both biking and running. Each fall is the very technical Raven Rock Rumble 5 and 10-miler.