Day Hike D: Possum Track Road to Bayleaf Church Road
Distance: 2.9 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 game lands and hunting is allowed. Learn about local hunting seasons here.
- Volunteer Task Force Leader: Jeff Brewer, email@example.com
- 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: Possum 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.
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.