William B. Umstead State Park


William B. Umstead State Park

We will be using Camp Lapahio at William B. Umstead State Park as our venue this year.


Group camping: Three group camps: Camp Crabtree, Camp Lapihio and Camp Whispering Pines—are available to youth groups and nonprofit organizations. Each camp includes a mess hall, dining area, camper and staff cabins and washhouses. Located in the heart of the woodlands, each camp offers ample opportunity to explore the wonders of nature. Swimming in Sycamore and Reedy Creek lakes is a popular group activity. Groups are responsible for providing swimming supervision and water safety.

Group camps are open April through October and may be rented daily in spring and fall or weekly during the summer. Accommodating between 27 and 120 people, an entire camp may be rented or a unit of cabins may be rented. Fees vary accordingly. A minimum of 10 people is required to rent a group camp or unit.

See the Park web site for information on other features of the Park, which includes trails, museum, and visitor center.

Park History

Long before the first settlers, the area now known as William B. Umstead State Park was an untamed land. American bison, elk, bobcats and wolves roamed majestic forests of oak, hickory and beech. Native Americans later inhabited the land and avenues of trade were developed nearby. Such avenues included the Occoneeche trail to the north and the Pee Dee trail to the south. In 1774, land grants opened the area for settlement.

Forests were cleared as agricultural interests sprouted. While early farming efforts were successful, poor cultivation practices and one-crop production led to depletion and erosion of the soil. During the Depression, farmers made futile attempts to grow cotton in worn-out soil around Crabtree Creek.

In 1934, under the Resettlement Administration, federal and state agencies united to buy 5,000 acres of this submarginal land to develop a recreation area. The Civilian Conservation Corps, as well as the Works Progress Administration, helped construct the site while providing much needed jobs. Four camps along with day-use and picnic facilities were built and the park opened to the public in 1937.

The state purchased this area, known as Crabtree Creek Recreation Area, for $1, and more facilities were built as the General Assembly made its first state parks division appropriation in the 1940s. In 1950, more than 1,000 acres of the park were established as a separate park for African-Americans. This area was named Reedy Creek State Park. Crabtree Creek Recreation Area was renamed a few years later after former Governor William Bradley Umstead because of his conservation efforts. In 1966, the Crabtree Creek and Reedy Creek areas were united under the same name; William B. Umstead State Park was open to everyone.

Directions to William B. Umstead State Park & Camp Lapihio

William B. Umstead State Park is located in Wake County between Raleigh and Durham.

The Crabtree Creek section is located 10 miles northwest of Raleigh off US 70. The park visitor’s center and camping facilities, including group Camp Lapihio, are located in this section. From I-40, turn northeast on I-540 and take the US 70 exit. Travel southeast on US 70, and turn right on Umstead Parkway at the park entrance, which leads to the park office and visitor’s center. Follow the signs to the group camps and Camp Lapihio. The Camp is about 1.9 miles from the Visitor Center

From Raleigh Beltline take exit US-70 West (Glenwood Ave.). Pass CarMax, Sports Authorities, then turn left into the park entrance and procede as above..

Click here to download a printable .pdf file with the directions and map.

Gate Hours

The gates to Umstead State Park are closed from approximately sunset to sunrise. In April that means they are closed from 8:00 PM to 8:00 AM. If you need to enter or exit while the gates are closed, you must make special arraingements to have your car parked outside the park and to get a ride to/from the gate.

Camp Lapahio Layout Map

Sketch map of the camp site in JPEG format. This is a 1.5 Meg file!

Camp Lapihio Pictures


Entrance Sign
Glenwood Ave (US 70)

Cp office - outside

Cp office - inside

Bath House
Sinks & Shower Stalls

Bath House
Shower Stall

Sleeping Cabins

4 Bed Cabin

Inside 4 Bed Cabin

Inside 3 Bed Cabin

Unit Latrine - Toilet

Unit Latrine - Sinks
Mess Hall

Front View

Front View
with Picnic Tables

Kitchen Wing

Mess Hall

Mess Hall
Fireplace End

Mess Hall
Fireplace & Alcove

Mess Hall


Stove, Pots & Prep Tables

Stove, Pots & Prep Tables

Coolers & Freezer

Freezer & Coolers

Storage Room
(Children's Program)


Central Room

Ward (6 beds)

Bedroom (2 beds)
Lodges (Classrooms,
Drumming, etc.)

Lakes Unit Lodge

Exterior with Fireplace

Interior with Fireplace

Interior with Fireplace

Fire Pit
Lakes Unit
Staff Lodge

Staff Lodge & Lawn

Lounge & Fireplace

Handicap Bath

Crafts Building - Outside

Crafts Building
Workbenches & Fireplace

Central Fire Pit

Road from Mess
Hall to Sycamore Lake

Sycamore Lake Docks

Sycamore Lake Docks

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Last updated 3/11/04