Day Hike N: Midpoint of Little Lick Creek Bridge west to Cheek Road

Little Lick Creek

Distance: 4.7 miles

  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Camping: No
  • Land managers: N.C.Wildlife Resources Commission, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Note: Some or all of this trail is on gamelands and hunting is allowed. Learn about local hunting seasons here.
  • Volunteer Task Force Leader: Jeff Brewer,
  • Piggyback trail: No
  • Connecting trails: Occasional old roadbeds and feeder trails to lake
  • Falls Lake MST Section No.: 15
  • Trailhead/Access:  Elbow of Jimmy Rogers and Little Rogers roads, and Cheek Road. Click on map below for specifics.

A lengthy boardwalk leads from the Little Lick Creek bridge to land.

Technically, this section begins in the middle of the Little Lick Creek Bridge, but since there’s no parking at the bridge — which, combined with 100 yards of lead-up boardwalk, spans not just Little Lick Creek, but a wetland that is often submerged — you begin at roadside parking at the elbow of Jimmy Rogers Road, west of the bridge. You must backtrack a quarter mile or so to get to the bridge, but it’s worth it, for here you’ll find a rarity on the Piedmont portion of the MST. Gregory Scott, the Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail volunteer who oversees maintenance of Section 13, explains.

“This is my favorite part of the trail, right here, because of the views,” says Scott. “The trail is enclosed, for the most part. It’s nice to be out in the open.”

The “enclosed” part of this stretch of trail is nice as well. Section 13 is more moderately rolling than you’ll find elsewhere along the lake. The tread is smoother, devoid of the rocks and tree roots that characterize a Falls Lake hike. That and the distance make this stretch especially attractive to trail runners.

Geology Highlights: Prominent lakeside bluffs of sandstone, good views of the lake with features related to the Neuse River, and a horizontal slab (sill) of diabase are all encountered along this trail section.

Day Hike N Map

Click on the link below the Google map to open it up in a larger version which includes definition of the map symbols, hiking notes, and an interactive option for driving to the trailheads.

View MST / Falls Lake / Section 13 in a larger map

Finding Your Way

Thanks to Mark Edelstein for these detailed hiking directions.

Finding Your Way (east » west) Cumulative Mileage Mileage Between Points
Trailhead: Jimmy Rogers Road 0.0 0.0
      — Backtrack to Lick Creek Bridge -0.5
Trail forks; go L on MST (white blaze) 0.25 0.25
Cross footbridge 0.73 0.51
Cross footbridge 1.4 0.67
Cross clearcut 1.59 0.15
Cross footbridge 1.64 0.05
Short spur to Falls Lake lookout 1.99 0.35
Intersecting trail; go straight 2.17 0.18
Cross footbridge 3.11 0.94
Cross wide clearcut with two footbridges 3.28 0.17
Rocky creek crossing (likely dry) 4.02 0.74
Cross small clearing 4.27 0.25
Trailhead: Cheek Road 4.69 0.42