Day Hike S: Red Mill Road (North of Ellerbe Creek) to Red Mill Road (South of the Eno River)

RMR2 (Red Mill Road — Twice!)

Distance: 4.8 miles

  • Difficulty: Moderate.
  • Camping: No.
  • Land managers: N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, U.S. Army Corps of Enginners. Note: Some or all of this trail is on game lands and hunting is allowed. Learn about local hunting seasons here.
  • Volunteer Task Force Leader: Jeff Brewer, jdbrewer104@gmail.com.
  • Piggyback trail: No.
  • Connecting trails: No, but old roadbeds crossing the trail may give that impression.
  • Falls Lake MST Section No.: 22.
  • Trailhead/Access: Red Mill Road (twice). Click on map for specifics.

Section 22 encounters several meadows.

A stretch of trail with considerable — and multiple — personality. On both ends, you’ll find retired lowland agricultural land. Some of that land now supports small meadows and hay fields, some is slowly being taken over by bottomland forest.

Midway on this stretch the trail climbs a bluff that, especially in winter, offers good views of Falls Lake, albeit not the wide stretches popular with speed boats. Rather, here you’ll find shallow sections that during summer may be dry mud flats, while in winter give the impression of a coastal swamp. Here, the Eno, the Flat and the Little rivers, along with Ellerbe Creek, end their runs in often indistinct ways.

Sprinkled in between you’ll find remnants of the region’s human past in the form of the occasional rusted cast-offs and a long-abandoned barn. You’ll also find the occasional natural curiosity: a climb through a pine and cedar stand, for instance.

One caution: the trail begins and ends on Red Mill Road, which you must cross to get to parking. Take note of traffic before making a move.

Geology Highlights: Geological sights of this trail section include a natural levee along Ellerbe Creek and vistas of upper Falls Lake. Compare the wide, flat and shallow lake here with the narrow, hilly, rocky and deeper lower Falls Lake east of Highway 50 in Wake County. Q: Why the difference? A: The Jonesboro fault.

For detailed hiking directions and parking information, download the Segment 10 guide from our Trail Guides page, using the “Primary Trailheads” section to pinpoint the location. You can also visualize the route on our interactive map.