Autumn At Umstead – A Photo Story

Looking for a place to escape and embrace the full autumn experience? William B. Umstead State Park in Raleigh, North Carolina, is the perfect place to surround yourself with nature and the vibrant colors of fall. (Photo courtesy Chase Dutton)

As you enter Umstead through the main entrance, yellow and orange leaves emerge from the treetops and create an autumn canopy above as you make your way into the park.

Deeper and Deeper: Once you’ve entered the park, the multi-use-trail leads you farther into the heart of Umstead. Along the path, the trees bleed autumn colors from above and patches of November sunlight seep through the treetops. 

Oak Rock Trail: In the heart of Umstead park, the Oak Rock Trail is the perfect trailhead to embrace the park’s natural beauty. The Oak Rock Trail leads you through the thickened dense woods and along a flourishing water stream.

An Autumn Skyline: Along the Oak Rock Trail, the forest trees beam high into the sky with all different shapes and colors of leaves. Umstead’s natural wildlife can also be found along the Oak Rock Trail, such as birds, squirrels, and other critters.

Three Wooden Towers: Further along the trail, three large oak trees stand side by side in the autumn breeze, sprouting yellow leaves high above. The park’s preservation of wildlife and nature give these wooden skyscrapers the opportunity to flourish and grow without the threat of deforestation or man made erosion.

A Leafy Stone Bridge: Nearing the end of the trail, a stone bridge connects the path across a stream filled with fallen autumn leaves. This stone bridge is home to one of the many basins for the Umstead Park Lake, which will later make an appearance at the end of the Oak Rock Trail.

A River Runs Through It: As the Oak Rock Trail ends, a new kind of path opens up. The stone bridge basin turns into a small flourishing stream which leads toward the Umstead Park Lake. Along the bank of the stream, bright orange leaves from the trees reflect the sunlight and shine a vibrant autumn light across the water below.

Wooden Bridge Walk: Following the stream, a wooden bridge appears leading to a large opening in the distance. This wooden bridge is the connection between the thick autumn forest and the beautiful Umstead Park Lake.


Umstead Park Big Lake (1): Across the wooden bridge sits the enormous and beautiful Umstead Park Lake. Along the bank, canoe rentals await to be used on the glassy water. Like the park forest, Umstead Park Lake is committed to preserving the lake’s wildlife, including aquatic wildlife. Fishermen are only allowed to practice catch and release fishing, and volunteer cleaning crews preserve the natural beauty of the lake.

Umstead Park Lake (2)

Glass Water: The autumn colors from the trees along the lake’s banks reflect in the water. The Umstead Park Lake is one of the best environments in the whole park. Many people come to Umstead to embrace its natural beauty, but others also come to seclude themselves from stress and problems and instead seek relief. The stillness from the glass-like water and the lively autumn colors from the trees are able to brighten anyone on any day!

Umstead Lake Pier: The Umstead Lake public pier awaits visitors while overlooking the glass water below. Many fishermen come to the public pier in hopes of catching some of the lake’s different species of fish, including Largemouth Bass, Bluegill, and Carolina Crappie. 

Until Next Time: William B. Umstead State Park is a great escape from the stresses of everyday life. It is a perfect place to take in the changing colors of fall and reconnect with nature. Raleigh is fortunate to have one of North Carolina’s most scenic, natural treasures in our backyard. Visit Umstead today and indulge in the beauty of Fall this November.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.