Day Hike G: Barton Creek Boat Ramp off Six Forks Road to NC 98

Barton Creek

Distance: 2.3 miles

  • Difficulty: Moderate.
  • Camping: No.
  • Land managers: N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, 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 down to lake and to adjoining neighborhood.
  • Falls Lake MST Section No.: 7.
  • Trailhead/Access: Barton Creek boat ramp off Six Forks Road and NC 98. Click on map below for specifics.

Engineering solves a tricky bridge problem.

After leaving the ample, paved parking lot the trail quickly passes through a short but aromatic stretch of pines, before reentering a maturing hardwood forest. Just over a half mile in is a spur to the right that leads a short distance to a small beach in a cozy cove, a great place to cool off on a summer’s day.

The trail continues in and out of coves. Just under a mile and a half in the path rounds a point and gives view to Raleigh’s emerging Forest Ridge Park on the far side of the lake, a destination for another day. There’s a little more up-and-down as the trail navigates two more coves before climbing to an abandoned, paved roadbed from the area’s pre-lake past. Follow the roadbed for a tenth of a mile before diverting left and encountering an old homestead, tipped off mainly by the ancient shade oak that dominates trail left. Another 100 yards or so to NC 98 and the end of Section 7. If you’re continuing on to Section 8, be especially careful crossing the busy, high-speed NC 98.

Geology Highlights: This trail section includes soapstone, mica schist, milky quartz, and a sandy pocket beach along the lakeshore.

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.