Day Hike D: Possum Track Road to Bayleaf Church Road

Flipped car

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,
  • 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.
A flipped car, circa 1950, sits trailside as a reminder of the area's past.

A flipped car, vintage 1950s, is a reminder of the area’s past.

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.

0.4 0.4
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.

2.8 0.3