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Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill

The Williamson Preserve

Current Trail Status

Average ratings submitted by users                     Write a review   User submitted reviews
CategoryAverage Rating
Overall :   3.5 / 5.0   based on 25 votes
Technical :   1.2 / 5.0   based on 25 votes
Climbing :   1.7 / 5.0   based on 25 votes
Freeride :   1.4 / 5.0   based on 25 votes
Scenery/Wildlife :   3.0 / 5.0   based on 25 votes
Flow :   3.9 / 5.0   based on 25 votes

Description
Location: 4409 Mial Plantation Rd, Raleigh, NC 27610
Also reachable from the Neuse River Greenway between mile markers 27 and 28.
Miles: 12
Skill Level: Beginner/Intermediate
Travel Direction: This trail is unidrectional by day. Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday bikers turn left at all direction signs. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, bikers turn right at all direction signs.

Trail Map
Directions
Park Hours and Fees
Rules of the Trail

There are currently more than 13 miles of walking and biking trails on the property, with approximately 12 miles being multi-use singletrack. A series of 6 trails – Walnut Hill Way, Pine Warbler, Little Falls, Long Leaf, Salamander, and Magnolia Run take riders on a flowy, high speed adventure down to the Neuse River Connector and back. Riders can continue down the Neuse River Connector to the Neuse River Greenway.


The trails grow increasingly difficult as they get further from the Mial Plantation trailhead. The trails are built end-to-end, allowing riders a quicker exit, or a return visit to a previous trailhead. Each loop offers its own character and set of challenges to mountain bikers. Riders can expect to encounter the following: small rock gardens, boulders, gullies and stream crossings, berms, grade reversals, log crossings, small jumps, wood bridges, and more.


Directions
The official trailhead is located off the gravel section of Mial Plantation Road, between Major Slade and Smithfield Roads at 4409 Mial Plantation Rd. There is a small gravel lot for parking. Do not park on the road!! There are several kiosks with trail maps at the parking lot. A closed gate indicates the trail is closed for riding.

Overflow Parking

If the main parking lot is full, do not park on the dirt road!! Please park at 6090 Mial Plantation Road, Raleigh NC 27610. From this lot, ride south along the Neuse River Greenway (turn left from the parking lot). The trail may be accessed between mile markers 27 and 28. Look for the information kiosk and gate. A closed gate indicates the trail is closed for riding.

Driving Directions via Google


Park Hours
Dawn to Dusk

Fees
No fee, but please consider donating or becoming a member of Triangle Land Conservancy.

Rules of the Trail

Prohibited Activities and Items:



This trail is not open for night riding except under organized night ride events coordinated with cycling clubs and park staff. Stay tuned to this site for upcoming night rides.

 

 


Review Williamson Preserve trail

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Williamson Preserve trail has been reviewed 25 times by our trianglemtb.com guests.

Reviewed by:enders
Reviewed on:09/25/2022
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This trail is a terrible bore, and absolutely worth skipping. I’ve ridden it a handful of times, and went back today to check out the newer opened sections. The entirety of WP is identical to itself; if you ride 10’ of it, you’ve gotten the experience.

There is no flow to be found. To me, flow is an extended section of trail which allows you to carry speed with very little need to pedal or brake during that section. WP has none of this due to the fact that they over-embrace >90° turns with no berms built to let you carry speed…rather they use loose sand and gravel where berms should be. You can’t find any extended flow because you’re constantly on the brakes and re-starting your momentum.

There are a few kicker ramps they’ve put into various spots, but they’re extremely limited in usefulness since they’re almost exclusively huck-to-flat landings with hard turns and no berms immediately following the landing zones.

They built a few “skinnies”, which are nicely constructed, but are built with 2x10”s so they aren’t exactly skinny.

Where the trail description says rocks, it means a few randomly scattered piles of river stone which do not require any technique other than pedaling straight through. Where the trail description says stream crossings, it means via wide wooden foot bridges of roughly 3’ length; certainly not any stream crossings where you could touch the actual stream.

I’d recommend WP if you’re taking your kids trail riding for the first time, enjoy doing nothing but gently pedaling on your bike, or are taking a highly inexperienced rider out. Other than that, Williamson Preserve is no fun whatsoever on a mtb.

I would ride a gravel bike through WP if I were on the greenway there and wanted to throw in a few dirt miles.
Reviewed by:wolfie
Reviewed on:09/09/2022
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updating my previous, they have done a lot more work out there and is awesome. There is enough climbing to get you where you can get some good descents. Biggest problem is all the lose pea gravel around.
Reviewed by:CircleLogic
Reviewed on:09/03/2022
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What a nice set of trails! The Williamson Preserve may be my favorite area so far.
There are very few roots and rocks which makes for a more enjoyable day out.
I really like the directional trail setup and wish more areas had that requirement.

I thought the trails flowed very well overall, and some sections are quite fun! There are a few randomly placed skinnies and small jumps! Magnolia Run was fun and longer than I expected. The connector trail that goes down to the Neuse River (and paved Greenway) adds the chance for a lot of variety to your trip.
I saw lots of deer, and occasionally could smell the nearby goats and horses.

As for the person who said the trails were just boring, maybe take a break from biking for a while? Or if you want to ride over a ton of roots, might I recommend the West section at Harris Lake County Park, lol.
Reviewed by:knobby
Reviewed on:06/22/2022
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Today I took a break from the Triangle’s rooty, rutty, rocky trails and visited Williamson Preserve. I felt like I was back home on Long Island. This trail is fast, flowy, and smooth in most spots. It’s a nice change from my regular rotation and I’ll be a regular here.
Reviewed by:wolfie
Reviewed on:06/10/2022
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pretty flowy, good trail for change of pace. You can do some different things.
Reviewed by:wolfie
Reviewed on:04/09/2022
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not technical but fun and nice change of pace
Reviewed by:Luv2Ride
Reviewed on:01/07/2022
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I've been riding road bikes for years and just got into MTB last year. This trail is close to where I live and it was a great trail to learn on. I don't have any trouble negotiating the loops even though I am a beginner. I do find some of the uphills troublesome since I've had two knee replacements and haven't gained all my strength back. It would be great if you would allow e-bikes on this trail.
Reviewed by:Bababooey
Reviewed on:12/15/2021
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Lot's of flow on this trail. I enjoy riding out here a lot. Great for beginners and for getting in some good mileage while having an enjoyable ride. The reward is the ride, and I always have a rewarding experience out here, whether it is getting my kids out for a lap, getting someone new into riding, or running solo for an endurance run at a high pace. For reference, I find greenway riding torturously boring, and my other favorite trails in the area are Forest Ridge, Crabtree, and Brumley Preserve.
Reviewed by:ezequiel
Reviewed on:11/29/2021
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I completely agree with the person that said this: " Probably one of the most boring trails I've ever ridden. It's just keeps going and going with little to no reward. Unless you live near Williamson Preserve, I wouldn't recommend it."

I decided to write this review to refer to the newest section of Williamson preserve, Magnolia Runs (4.5miles). It was said,(rumored) that this new section Trail builders would have the freedom to create a more fun and challenging trail for Mountain bikers, well, if you have ridden the original trail and didn't like it, don't waste your time or get too excited about this new section. It's almost 5 new miles of the same boring stuff. I honestly can't understand what's the purpose of this trail, it literally feels like riding in circles, 120 degree turns without berms, so many unnecessary turn without berms that only cut the little flow that you may carry, you don't need a mountain bike to ride this stuff, a gravel bike is more than enough, I would even say that a riding a greenway is a lot more fun that this. I understand people been happy to have more trails, but having more miles just because should not be the last purpose of a mtb trail, do laps if workout is what you want. I can't help to be upset seeing how an opportunity to build something amazing was completely wasted. good amount of elevation completely squandered.
Reviewed by:Tommy
Reviewed on:11/04/2021
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I noticed ebikes are not allowed at Williamsom Preserve and was wondering if the regulation could be modified to allow ebikes for ridders 70 and older, or to limit the power to bikes with less than 300 watts. I am 77 years old and use a low-powered bike and would love to be able to ride the trails.

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