Hours of relaxation await you at Falls Lake State Recreation Area. Just moments away from the hustle and bustle of the city, Falls Lake is a great way to escape urban life. With a 12,000-acre lake and 26,000 acres of woodlands, Falls Lake State Recreation Area offers a choice of recreation areas Beaverdam, B.W. Wells, Highway 50, Holly Point, Rolling View, Sandling Beach and Shinleaf. Fishing, boating and swimming are only a few of the activities awaiting you on the water. On land, you can enjoy walking, mountain biking or camping along a portion of the state's Mountains-to-Sea Trail. From recreation to environmental education, no matter what you are looking for, you are sure to discover it at Falls Lake.
We hiked out and back on sections 1 and 2 of the FLT / MST from the Falls Lake Dam to the end of Possum Track Road. - Section 1 starts at Falls Lake dam’s Tailrace Fishing Area, where it meets the Neuse River Trail (a paved trail that goes south along the river) and takes you on the south side of Falls Lake to Raven Ridge Road. Make sure you take a right as you meet the road (don't cross it because you'll get into the Honeycutt gameland trail which is gray blazed instead of white blazed), and go across the lake spur to the other side and connect with Section 2 that takes you to Possum Track road. Section 2 is known as the Raven Ridge Ramble, one of the older stretches of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail. Make sure you wear bright colors during hunting season as you'll be in and out of gamelands all along the FLT. While not really my kind of trail as it's a lot of hiking in the woods, it's best in winter when you can see the lake. For a New Year's eve hike, this was a good workout, about 14 miles or so.
More info on the FLT sections: http://www.ncmst.org/the-trail/mst-day-hikes/day-hikes-at-falls-lake/
It maybe the late Fall season, but this was the most boring trail I have been hiking. It is mostly flat and I saw no scenic view. While on the trail, all the sounds I heard were the planes from the sky, the cars from the road and the gun shots from the nearby fire range. Not recommended.
Great undulating trails with nice tree canopy shade! Nicely challenging with changing views. Very similar to Umstead trails but with less creeks and streams. Didn't find much drinkable water for my dog though, creek are stagnant. I did enjoy my hike!
My husband and I have spent the last couple of months doing sections of this trail on Sundays. Lot of fun. Easy hiking. Some stretches are prettier than others. For most sections, we barely ever run into anyone else, maybe 1-2 people/couples.
Eve F. on Falls Lake Trail (Mountains-to-Sea ...
We hiked this section listed here today and another at the east end of the lake towards the dam yesterday. Yesterday's was prettier I think and made for a nice trail run as our 3 and 8 year old only did one way (3 miles) and I ran back to get the car. Both nice hikes but once is sufficient I think.
To update: The Mountains to Sea Trail in the Triangle now is continuous from Pleasant Green Road in Orange Co/Eno State Park to Falls Lake Dam. The Neuse River Greenway will soon be incorporated to add another 30+ miles to Clayton and Johnston County.
In reply to David Oh's post: Yes...Much of the the Falls Lake Trail (MST) does pass through NC Wildlife gameland tracts. However, hunting tends to be very minimal on the east of NC 50 as the trail pass more near roads and residential properties. Hunting tends to increase more west of NC 50 as the sections become more remote and follow around NC Wildlife field plots.
I have hiked the entire trail all through out the year, and have rarely came upon a hunter. There are sections of the trail that pass through State Park and city/county lands where hunting is prohibited.
To any and all hikers, just be wise and wear your blaze orange during hunting seasons.
With the completion of 100+ feet bridge over Lick Creek, the FLT is now a continuous footpath 61.8 miles long, that Randy mentioned below, runs from the dam on the east to Penny's Bend on the west.
The initial focus was to get the trail dug, which has been done, and now we are revisiting areas that still need bridges, but even without all the planned bridges, under normal circumstances you can walk the entire trail with little difficulty.
To address some of what David Oh said -- In some areas the trail does cross over Wildlife Game Lands where hunting is allowed in season. I have worked on this trail and been hiking this trail for almost 7 years and have only come across hunters or gunshots about 3 times. If you do hike in season, you should wear blaze orange. Check the NC Wildlife Commission website for specific hunting seasons, deer season being the one of most concern. If the trail did not cross gamelands, we would not have 60+ mile continguous trail right here in the Triangle.
David's "lame" comment is in itself lame. It does a disservice to a lot of hard work and a lot of time devoted by hundreds of volunteers who worked over many years to make this trail a reality. Even in hunting season, it is by no means a "death" trail. You just have to be aware of your surroundings and decide ahead of time if you want to hike bad enough to hike during hunting season. David took one thin slice of time in one thin slice of the trail and made a snap judgement about the trail as a whole. Not cool.
The trail unfortunately leads to a death trail. You end up hiking for about .5 mile and end up in a hunting zone where you hear gun shots. You are greeted by a hiker beware sign that warns hiking beyond the point can lead to serious injury or death!! WTF!. Ugh! Lame.
It is a nice easy/moderate trail, starting from NC 50 (Creedmore Rd) and heading east. Today, I got a late start, so I only did about 2 miles in before turning around. Not much to see other than foliage, and you can't use the trail (I wouldn't) during hunting season.