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.
Just starting to do sections of the trail with the dog. The trail from the Baptist Road trailhead eastbound is in very good shape. No significant blowdowns, maintenance has been solid, markings are clear ('though I'd like the maintainers to settle on one color for the circle dots :) ). That blazing was always evident on the short 5k up and back we did. Crossed a newish looking bridge in excellent shape over one creek, and had a delightful view of the moon rising over the trees and into the broken cloud cover at dusk -- camera didn't capture it well.
I know the Lake fairly well and the only reason this wasn't 5 star wasn't the fault of the trail or terrain. In a mixed wooded second-growth area, there aren't a lot of vistas. I'm walking in the woods with occasional views of Falls Lake. I wouldn't say it's boring -- it's just not breath-taking. Really love the rolling hill terrain. Didn't see another soul, 'though we startled a dozen or more whitetail.
The eastern terminus of the FLT is at the Falls Lake Dam tailrace in Falls, NC. The western terminus will be at Penny's Bend on the Eno River near Durham, NC. The Falls Lake Task Force of the Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail builds and maintains the FLT and should reach the western terminus by year's end 2010. The entire 60 mile length of hiking trail will be complete when a 100-foot pedestrian bridge is constructed over Little Lick Creek, probably 2011. For more information about the Falls Lake Trail and the Mountains-to-Sea Trail, including volunteer opportunities, go to the ncmst dot org website.