How to Find the Chainsaw Art Fallen Tree in William B. Umstead State Park

A beautiful piece of art made from a fallen red oak tree awaits visitors
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A few years ago, a giant red oak tree fell across the Graylyn multi-use trail in William B. Umstead State Park. Rather than see the tree’s life come to an end, park ranger Jessica Phillips hired a pair of chainsaw artists, Jerry Reid and Randy Boni from Smoky Mountain Art in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, to transform the century-old tree into a work of art in November 2017.

After doing some research about how to access the tree, I found that this destination made the perfect hike for a young family: low mileage and elevation gain, a wide and easy gravel trail, surprises along the way, and an interesting end reward in the form of the chainsaw art fallen tree.

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While there are several ways to find the chainsaw art tree, here’s the one that works best for small kids and beginner hikers. Our crew included two parents, two kids ages 2 and 5, and an active grandfather. The hike is one mile round-trip on a wide, multiuse trail — meaning you will find hikers, runners, mountain bikers, lots of leashed dogs and maybe even trail riders on horseback. We did a quick Google search for directions but unfortunately found them not descriptive enough. (We’re novices!) Pro tip: Save these instructions to your phone ahead of time as cell reception is spotty in the park.

Directions:

  • Enter the park at the Crabtree Creek entrance (Highway 70/Glenwood Avenue) and follow the signs to park your vehicle at the Sycamore Road parking lot. You can enter “Sycamore Parking” into Google Maps for the exact spot.
  • Follow the path up a short hill. You’ll pass this old cabin on the right. There’s not much to see inside but let curiosity get the better of your group and take a peek in.
  • Continuing on, once that path comes to a T, turn right. Continue up this short stretch of trail and when that comes to another T, take another right onto the Graylyn multiuse trail. Travel approximately 0.3 miles on the Graylyn multiuse trail and you’ll find the fallen tree on your left.​ That’s it! Easy.

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Categories: Exercise, Lifestyle, Seasonal Fun