Explore the most popular Bird Watching trails in Falls Lake State Recreation Area with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

More of a gravel road than a trail. Decent trail run off season

I would recommend this trail to anyone, there’s not a lot of up and down but the distance makes up for it. A point a-b trail so if you solo it like myself plan to start early or watch your time. The trail is very defined and easy access unless you fish like myself then you will discover some loggy terrain in places. Definitely a trail worth exploring.

Nice trail. Trail blazing needs some love. Thanks to AllTrails got be back on track

Nice easy trail. A big section of the trail is really close to private houses. A lot of tires and metal junk along the trail

First half of trail was on basically a gravel road past the beach area the trail became much more narrow and in the forest not much to see along coastline

It’s a nice easy trail along the lake shore. It has a few hills but maybe it is flat. Some sections of the trail are shared with bikes.

Ok trail! Very confusing at points. Bit overgrown!

over grown
2 months ago

Did a 50k here. Rocky and Rooty but close to the water and a lot of fun

very nice areas to swim towards the end or picnic. I like that the trail is wide and shaded.

Great hike. Saw many deer, stopped by the first and second beaches, and was delightfully surprised by the MST trail capstone at the end of the trail. Instead of going to Santee Road, I went across the lake on the MST. The capstone is the Little Lick Creek Bridge dedicated May 19, 2012 by the friends of the MST. From this point on the MST, it is only 560 miles to Clingman's Dome on the west endpoint of the trail and only 375 miles to Jockey's Ridge at the eastern most point of the trail. The bridge and great bench to sit for a snack is nice and also cool is the plank footbridge that goes the rest of the way across the lake. If you go to the other side of the lake on the footbridge there is a picnic table under a big tree. Watch out for snakes. With the footbridge, the out and back mileage from Baptist Road is about 9 miles. Make sure to take enough water and a snack to refuel at the halfway point as today it was 95 degrees in the shade. A nice breeze blew from time to time off the lake. Enjoy!

4 months ago

Beautiful little place. Highly recommended if you're interested in backpacking but don't know where to start. Great place to do an overnighter and test out your gear. Easy hike into the campsites, and only about a mile from the entrance to the lake point. Campsites are secluded, and all seem to have pretty views of the lake. Once you get a little beyond the camping area there are some sandy stretches along the water's edge. Perfect for chilling out with a book, having lunch, or maybe fetching with your dogs. You can swim from there as well, but if you swim out from the shore do look out for boats. Not a 100% quiet experience. It's peaceful, but you will be hearing lots of boats, jet skis, and people enjoying their tubing and water skiing. Personally, I don't mind that. It's good to hear people having fun. I had some meditative moments by the water after taking long hikes through the nearby Falls Lake Trail. Again, if you're getting into backpacking this place is great because you can keep it primitive, but it's not completely primitive. The sites don't have water or electricity, but there is a restroom facility with hand sanitizer and a pump/faucet for fresh water. Overall, Shinleaf can suit a variety of needs. Primitive camping after long hikes, or just a fun day with your family by the water.

Nice trail with mountain feel at the end.

over grown
5 months ago

You can do this using two cars, one at each end or do it in sections, entering and doing out and backs from the roads. Heading west to east, enter via pullout beside the road, there is a trail sign at the bottom of the hill and across from the jet plane/ropes course. Initially trail takes you through a logged area but is well-marked (white blaze) as part of the MST as well as the Falls Lake Trail. Then through some dense woods and beside an open area where you get glimpses of the lake, an interesting farm pond, then to the end of Boyce Road (can be another entry/end point), where you take a left and back into the woods, across some runoff streams. You next come to an old homestead / tobacco barn with some big oak trees and road crossing... encountered a friendly six foot black snake near the open field / homestead area. You cross the Old Creedmore mountain bike trails. the next long section goes through the woods with glimpses of the lake, was overgrown in parts and expect rangers will trim the saplings soon. Near the Creedmoor Road end, you'll come to a newly created culvert with pink tape around it - you can navigate around either side. Good for trail running with some ups and downs; you can take some side trails down to Falls Lake. Make sure you take at least one liter of water, a half liter didn't cut it.

This is an awesome short hike from the parking area, it really gets nice past the beach area and all the way to the end of the point. The State Park Service has done a great job with a controlled burn and there are some awesome tent camping sites (notably 46 and 47). While I was fortunate to be there when absolutely no one else was, it might get crowded on popular weekends. Enjoy the lake views and huge oaks along the way. Reference: https://files.nc.gov/ncparks/maps-and-brochures/falls-lake-shinleaf.pdf

Part of the MST and Falls Lake trails, went from Creedmoor Rd all the way to Boyce Rd and back... about 11 miles... less than a half mile in, you'll come to a newly created culvert with pink tape around it - you can navigate around either side... encountered a friendly six foot black snake near the open field and homestead area. The trail on the Boyce Rd half has been trimmed so was more fun with less underbrush to whack. Suspect the rangers will do the Creedmoor half later this month as it was really overgrown in spots with maple and hickory saplings. Nice part of the MST near Falls Lake [you can take some side trails to various beaches]. The old homestead / tobacco barn? features a HUGE oak tree. Also there are some nice mountain bike trails near the middle of the trail [with a different access point]. Make sure you take at least one liter of water, a half liter didn't cut it.

great work out trial condition good no litter spotted

Great trail that winds itself along the Falls lake.Quiet our and back!

I wouldn't consider this hard but was still a nice hike. Trails are rather smooth and clear, some areas with incline and minimal roots and rocks.

trails great shape,found trash in camp areas need to start bringing a trash bag

This trail is in great shape but the distance given on All Trails is incorrect according to my GPS.

9 months ago

We went for tia hike after it rained last night, so the trail was a bit muddy, but it was still usable. Nice hike, gets your heart rate up a bit without anything too strenuous/challenging. Some nice views across the water at the end!

Nice MST section through the woods at Falls Lake, lots of ups and downs around the fingers of the lake. Good for trail running, dog walking, family outings. Park in the upper parking area of the Upper Barton Creek Boat Ramp area and trail entrance is to the east of the parking lot (looking uphill to the right). Can be muddy in spots after hard rains. During winter months you can see more of the lake. Some remote beach areas as well. Enjoy!

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