We are sharing tales from the MST as hikers are pursuing the 40 Hike Challenge.
This week we are exploring the trail Great Day Hike #32 in Segment 15, Stones Creek Game Land: NC 210 to US 17, submitted by Kathy Tucci
I invited two friends, Michelle and Ruth, to go tackle this 3.5-mile hike across Stones Creek Game Land, a little-known enclave nestled into Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base.
We headed out this past sunny and warm Sunday morning. Instead of carrying the whole trail guide, we photocopied the pages for this hike, and the directions were spot on! None of us had traveled the trail from one entrance to the other, but we had been on various parts of the trail and in the Game Lands.
Much of what is now the game land has historically been converted to pine plantation, some of which has been heavily timbered.
The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission is working to restore the native longleaf pine savannas that historically grew here.
Much of the land we passed through has been planted in young longleaf pine and, in time, those who hike here will be able to watch it transform into a mature, highly diverse habitat.
Even now, Stones Creek is home to a diverse abundance of wildlife and plants, including several endangered species.
We had a great time, and look forward to exploring more of Stones Creek!
We invite you to hike all 40 of the hikes in Great Day Hikes – take the 40 Hike Challenge! If you’ve hiked one of the 40 Hikes, share your story with us. Hashtag #MST40Hike or email with your tale.