William B. Umstead State Park
We will be using Camp Lapahio at William B. Umstead State Park as our venue again 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.
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 at 8801 Glenwood Ave.
From I-40 and the West, take 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
From Raleigh Beltline take exit US-70 West (Glenwood Ave.). Pass CarMax and Sports Authorities, then turn left into the park entrance.
From the North, take I-85 to exit number 179, which is marked "To US 70 East." (You will be following markings toward US 70 South and RDU Airport.) Turn left at the light at the top of the ramp onto East Club Blvd. Turn right at the next light onto East Geer St. At the second light on E. Geer, turn left onto Hardee St. Continue to follow the detour signs to South US 70. (This is a construction area and details change frequently. However, it is usually clearly marked.) Go straight on US 70 for about 8 miles. Park entrance is on your right after passing the airport turn offs and the Angus Barn Restaurant.
Directions to Camp Lapihio, from within Umstead
Once you arrive at Umstead State Park, follow the main road (Umstead Parkway) to the Park Office and Visitor Center. Just past the Visitor Center, turn left and go to a T intersection. Turn right at the T intersection and follow this road past the entrance to Youth Camp. At the next T intersection, turn left, towards Camp Crabtree and Camp Lapihio. Stay to the right on this road to reach Camp Lapihio. The Camp is about 1.9 miles from the Visitor Center.
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
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Last updated 3/12/05