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Umstead State Park Chainsaw Art: Viewing

Winter Hike in Search of Chainsaw Art

February 5, 2018 Sarah Coggins
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Last fall I read about a new work of art located in a state park nearby. A fallen red oak tree was transformed by chainsaws and featured carvings of various animals. It quickly went on my future “to see” list.

Chainsaw Art at Umstead State Park

Between weather, holidays, and general life, it hadn’t happened. On Saturday, I decided to change that. It was cold – the thermometer read 40 degrees fahrenheit. I was exhausted from a morning workout class. But the kids were full of energy and the sun was out. So why not take a short hike in search of the chainsaw art?

Umstead State Park: Hike with Kids

We bundled up and headed for Umstead State Park. The 3 year old full of excitement. The 8 year old less amused. Instead wanting to stay home and play on a tablet. He got into the adventure pretty quickly though.

While we’ve visited Umstead many times in the past few years, we were going to be exploring a new area so I quickly reviewed the route to take before we hit the trail. Barely into the hike and a certain 3 year old happily jumped onto my back for a ride in her Lillebaby CarryOn. A few steps later and she was sound asleep. Apparently she still needs those naps she fights.

Umstead State Park Hike: Napping Toddler

We continued onward, double checking our instructions a couple of times. Then we quickly spotted it in the distance. This red oak is huge and immediately adjacent to the path. There is no missing it.

Umstead State Park Chainsaw Art: Approach

Umstead State Park Chainsaw Art: Viewing

The carvings are beautiful. I was grateful I chose to carry my DSLR with me and took quite a few photos – all while our little one napped on my back.

Umstead State Park Chainsaw Art: Detail

Umstead State Park Chainsaw Art: Detail

After taking time to view the art and pausing so the kids to play at another fallen tree along the trail, we began our journey back toward the car. I also finally thought to get a quick photo of all 4 of us – including a now awake toddler. Apparently, that little power nap was all she needed. She missed the chainsaw art so we’ll have to bring her back to see it again.

Umstead State Park: Family Selfie - February 2018

Our adventure was successful in wearing me out. I think the kids may have had even more energy afterward than before! Next time, we’re taking a longer hike and both are walking the entire time.

Have you been out for a hike recently?


  • Nicki Odom October 4, 2019 at 11:00 am
    Wow This is amazing! I never knew that was there! I need to go to Umstead Park. Thanks for sharing!
    • Sarah Coggins October 4, 2019 at 7:14 pm
      It is a neat piece of artwork. Worth the hike and, thankfully, with fall weather finally coming - perfect time to go check it out.

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    Hi! I'm a DIY and craft obsessed mom to 2. I have my hands covered in sawdust or paint any given day. My husband and kids join me in many of our projects. When we aren't creating at home, we're creating memories in our many adventures. Join along! Read More


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