Umstead State Park is located right outside Raleigh between interstate 40 and US 70. It’s a quick drive, even better, a moderate bike ride from downtown Raleigh along the greenway system. I’ve visited Umstead Park many times, but only recently from the main entrance along US 70. At the visitor center you can pick up a map showing the hiking, biking, and bodies of water within the 5579 acre park. We hiked a quick trail with the family the other day and passed many people out and about. Seems like the park gets plenty of use and is an easy way to get away from city life for awhile.
The park is near to the RDU airport and there is an “airport overlook” at the corner of the park for a good view of the planes coming and going.