Day Hike F: Six Forks Road to Six Forks Road
Blue Jay Point
Distance: 3.0 miles
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Camping: No
- Land managers: Wake County Parks, Recreation and Open Space, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
- Volunteer Task Force Leader: Jeff Brewer, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Piggyback trail: Falls Lake Trail, South Shore Trail
- Connecting trails: To Blue Jay Point County Park and to the lake
- Falls Lake MST Section No.: 6
- Trailhead/Access: Six Forks Road. Click on map below for specifics
A popular stretch of trail due to its location within Wake County’s Blue Jay Point County Park. Because the park’s main attractions — playgrounds, ball fields, picnic shelters — are at roughly the midpoint of the trail, you’ll see a fair amount of traffic hereabouts, especially families with small children. The southern end sees a good number of fishermen who use the parking off Six Forks for quick access to accessible water. The north end of this trail sees little traffic. No overnight camping is allowed.
This stretch probably has more benches per mile than any hiking trail you’ll ever tread. Thank a local Eagle Scout if you’re compelled to take a rest. You’ll also encounter a nice platform nestled in a cove more than a mile in, a popular spot for spring wildflower viewing. Several feeder trails offering quick to access the lake.
Plan to work in a visit to Blue Jay Point (park hours are 8 a.m. until sunset). In addition to the various recreational amenities, you’ll also find water and restrooms.
Geology Highlights: While hiking this trail section, be on the lookout for distinctive minerals: talc, chlorite, actinolite, magnetite and serpentine. These are characteristic of the ultramafic rocks of the area.
Day Hike F 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 6 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: Six Forks Road. At the end of the guardrail, at a graveled pull-off on the north side of the causeway, turn R. Note signboard welcoming you to Blue Jay Point, a Wake County Park. Reenter woods to continue on the Falls Lake Trail.||0.0||0.0|
|After crossing a small plank walkway, descend to cross a footbridge over a small creek.||0.1||0.7|
|Cross several footbridges in an area with evidence of the ravages of hurricanes Fran and Floyd.||0.6||0.58|
|Cross a wide, blue-blazed footpath, Beaver Point Trail (L leads up to the park’s main entrance and the Blue Jay Environmental Education Center).||0.7||0.34|
|Descend on some steps, with a railing, to cross a footbridge.||1.0||0.08|
Cross a graveled, blue-blazed trail, Blue Jay Point Trail (R leads to park’s namesake, Blue Jay Point).
After passing by a split rail fence, cross a small footbridge and turn R to stay on the trail (Red-blazed trail turns L to head uphill to a playground and restrooms).
|Stay straight at a junction with a red-blazed trail on L.||1.5||1.06|
Stay R at a junction with the yellow-blazed Laurel Loop Trail, L, as the trails run concurrently on a wide footpath.
|Turn R as the Laurel Loop Trail turns off to the L.||1.7||0.08|
Cross a narrow footbridge.
Reach the wide blue-blazed Sandy Point Trail and turn L with this for about 100 yd, as the Falls Lake Trail turns L onto a narrower footpath.
Reach a signboard by a parking area and turn R to cross a park road to reenter woods.
|Cross a bridge over a creek bed. The lake is to the R, below you.||2.1||0.08|
After a descent to the lake, cross 2 footbridges, with a bench between them.
Cross another footbridge by the end of a cove.
Walk down some steps and reach Six Forks Road. (To continue on the trail, turn R to cross the causeway. The boat ramp is in view here.)