Day Hike P: Cheek Road to Hickory Hill Boat Ramp

Hickory Hill Boat Ramp

Distance: 2.9 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 trails down to lake
  • Falls Lake MST Section No.: 16, 17, 18
  • Trailhead/Access: Cheek Road and Hickory Hill Boat Ramp. Click on map below for specifics.

Short passages along roads are common on the Falls Lake portion of the MST.This is one of the flattest sections of the MST along Falls Lake, with little noticeable elevation change for the first mile. A little over a mile and a half in you’ll find evidence of old homesteads, in the form of oaks spared to provide shade for the farmhouses and scraps of rusted metal that no-doubt once played a vital role at the time but today beg the question: When does a piece of scrap in the woods go from junk to artifact?

There are two road encounters on this stretch: for both, hang a right on the road, walk along the shoulder, when the guardrail runs out, you’ll find the trail snaking off back into the woods.

The Hickory Hill Boat Ramp makes a good spot to take a break, for lunch, perhaps, or for a nap.  A grassy slope offers a nice view of the lake below.

Geology Highlights: In the eastern part of this hike, you can see a diabase dike that illustrates the process of spheroidal weathering, the main reason for the large rounded boulders commonly seen in the Piedmont.

Day Hike P 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 14 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: Cheek Road 0.0 0.0

Cross an open area after trail curves to the R. Soon pass by the edge of a field.

0.2 0.54
Pass through another open area with a nice lake view, R. 0.7 0.33

Reach Hereford Road. Turn R to walk along the road’s shoulder.

0.9 0.17
By end of guardrail, turn R to reenter woods. Soon, stay to L by some trail signage. 1.1 0.11
Reach an open area by a cove. The trail turns L by the uprooted remains of several trees. 1.4 0.16
Turn R to cross a creek bed on a footbridge. 1.5 0.16
For a short distance walk by the lake’s edge, R. Soon stay to L to leave this. 1.7 0.08
Cross an old roadbed and enter a section of young forest growth (May be overgrown in warmer weather). 1.9 0.2
By a trail post, turn L onto a more open path. Soon pass the remains of a shack, R. 2.0 0.24
Pass by the remains of another structure, L. 2.1 0.25

After turning R off this open path, reach Redwood Road. Turn R to cross the causeway on the road’s shoulder. Reenter woods on trail at the end of the guardrail.

2.2 0.11
Cross a small creek on a footbridge. 2.5 0.16
Trailhead: Hickory Hill Boat Ramp. (Cross road; to continue on trail, go straight and reenter woods.) 2.9 0.16