Day Hike Q: Hickory Hill boat ramp to Redwood/Tom Clark roads
High Flying, Fast Driving
Distance: 2.3 miles
- Difficulty: Easy
- 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, email@example.com
- Piggyback trail: No
- Connecting trails: Occasional feeder trail to lake
- Falls Lake MST Section No.: 19, 20
- Trailhead/Access: Hickory Hill Boat Ramp and the elbow of Redwood and Tom Clark roads. Click on map below for specifics.
It would be easy to dismiss this short section as a connector between the more bucolic sections 14 and 16. But this stretch has attributes in its own right, though perhaps not the kind you come to expect on a hiking trail. Like Lake Ridge Airport, home of the Carolina Barnstormers. If Mike’s around and if you have $125 in your day pack, he’ll take you up in his red, open cockpit Waco biplane for a 25-minute spin over Falls Lake and the Duke Campus.
If you don’t have $125, keep hiking and you’ll have another unusual trail opportunity: the chance to hike through a cement culvert under an interstate highway. (Note: The tunnel can be wet and muddy; watch your step.)
Thanks to the dense floodplain forest, it’s not long before you leave the roar of I-85 in your wake.
Geology Highlights: Large rounded (spheroidal) boulders of diabase are common along this stretch of the trail.
Day Hike Q 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 15 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: Hickory Hill boat ramp||0.0||0.0|
|Cross the remains of a roadbed.||0.2||0.2|
|On a footbridge, cross a dry creek bed.||0.5||0.5|
Cross the remains of a roadbed and soon pass through a large depression.
Reach a power line right-of- way by I-85. Turn L to walk along this for a short distance and come to the gated end of East Geer Street. To continue on the trail go L to walk around this barrier.
|Go to the fence separating I-85 and turn L as the trail follows this right-of-way, soon passing under a billboard.||0.9||0.0|
|Pass by a stone boundary marker.||1.0||0.1|
|Pass another stone marker. Soon reach some steps, after going under another billboard, and take these down to access a roadbed. Turn right to walk under the interstate.||1.1||0.1|
|Turn L off the roadbed and then a quick R into the woods on a footpath.||1.2||0.1|
|Cross an old, overgrown roadbed and soon cross through a small depression.||1.6||0.4|
|Cross a small creek on a make-shift log bridge.||1.7||0.28|
|Walk across a wide power line clearing w a lake view, R.||1.8||0.1|
The trail turns R, on a more open path for a short distance, to get closer to the lake.
|Walk through a small depression.||2.0||0.1|
Trailhead: After a short walk along a utility line, reach Redwood Road. Turn R to access the next section, staying straight where Tom Clark Road comes in from the L.