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

Barton Creek

Distance: 2.4 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.

Day Hike G 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 / Day Hike G in a larger map

Finding Your Way

Thanks to Mark Edelstein for these detailed hiking directions.

Finding Your Way (east » west) Mileage
Trailhead: Barton Creek boat ramp off Six Forks Road, upper parking lot. Enter woods by a signboard. 0.0
Turn left onto an old roadbed to enter a pine forest. Head to the right on a narrower footpath. 0.1
Pass under a power line at a clear-cut. After this, cross an L-shaped footbridge as the trail bends to the left to descend slightly, then rock-hop across a small creek. 0.3
Cross a dry creek bed. Go over a narrow roadbed to enter a small clearing. The MST heads left, and crosses a pipe conduit. The trail turns right across a small creek. 0.6
Cross a second power-line clearcut near a cove. 0.9
Enter a third power-line clear-cut by another cove. To traverse this clear-cut, turn right, then quickly left for a slight ascent to cross a former access road. Stay straight, by some posts, to re-enter woods. After skirting around the cove, start to re-cross the power-line clear-cut and re-enter woods. 1.1
After a slight descent, pass through a low area. 1.4
After curving around a cove, cross a small creek. 1.8
Cross a creek bed on a footbridge. Head left onto a wider footpath. Reach the roadbed for the paved old NC 98 and turn right onto this. 2.0
After crossing under a small utility line, turn left onto a footpath to walk between two elongated mounds of earth. 2.3
Trailhead: Descend to reach NC 98 at the end of a guardrail. Carefully cross the road to parking on the other side. 2.4