Day Hike D: Possum Track Road to Bayleaf Church Road
Distance: 2.8 miles
- Difficulty: Easy
- Camping: No
- Land managers: N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, N.C. Division of Parks & Recreation, 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, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Piggyback trail: Falls Lake Trail, a k a South Shore Trail
- Connecting trails: Occasional trail upslope to neighborhoods and down to the lake
- Falls Lake MST Section No.: 4.
- Trailhead/Access: Possom Track Road and Bayleaf Church Road. (At Bayleaf Church Road, gate hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; park above the gate leading to the Yorkshire center.) Click on map below for specifics.
This 2.9-mile stretch spends a good deal of time skirting the backyards of residences along the lake, a fact you notice less in the summer when the trees are leafed out and the underbrush in full bloom. A trail highlight has less to do with Falls Lake’s natural history than its human past: Just over a mile in from Possum Track Road you’ll spot the rusted hulk of a flipped car. (MST hiker Steve Phillips feels pretty sure it is a 1951 Hudson Pacemaker; email us if you can confirm this ID.)
Otherwise, this is a typical stretch of Falls Lake trail, ducking in and out of coves, jutting out onto a point for a view of the water, all the while under the cover of a maturing hardwood forest interspersed with pines. More evergreenery than you typically find makes this an especially nice hike in winter.
Geology Highlights: Along this section, the rocks contain a variety of distinctive minerals, including garnet, kyanite, and tourmaline.
Day Hike D 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 4 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: Dead end off Possum Track Road (roadside parking)||0.0||0.0|
Midway through an area of young pine growth (Trail is marked by several carsonite posts), cross a wide roadbed.
|Enter more open woodlands.||0.5||0.1|
|Note a former home site, L. Soon enter a wildlife clearing, as the trail touches a wide roadbed and passes by the remains of a rusted car.||0.7||0.2|
|Cross a small creek on a footbridge, after walking across the roadbed.||1.2||0.5|
|Return to lake views.||1.4||0.2|
|Trail turns sharp L by a lake promontory.||1.5||0.1|
|Cross a narrow, old roadbed and soon enter an area of profuse laurel and holly.||1.8||0.3|
|At the end of a cove, cross a footbridge over a creek. You have now entered an area of state parklands (No hunting).||2.4||0.6|
|Cross a creek bed on a low footbridge.||2.5||0.1|
Reach the Yorkshire Center, a NC Parks and Recreation Facility. Bayleaf Church Rd, L, dead ends here.