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Suggs Mill Pond Game Land

Horseshoe Lake
Suggs Mill Pond Game Land, which includes the 600-acre Horseshoe Lake, is a protected area managed by the North Carolina Wildlife Commission southeast of Fayetteville in Bladen and Cumberland Counties.  Horseshoe Lake is a horseshoe-shaped Carolina Bay with a unique and beautiful ecosystem.  The shallow lake is dominated by stands of cypress trees, floating bog mats, and many yellow pitcher plants.  Around the lake are unusual Sandhills plant communities including several species of carnivorous plants.  The lake is also an important area for migrating ducks and other birds who stop over during their migration along the Atlantic Flyway.  The state of North Carolina, with assistance from the Nature Conservancy, purchased around 8000 acres of land from Canal Industries, Inc. in 1988 and the land is now managed by the NC Wildlife Commission as game land.  Additional tracts have been purchased since then, bringing the total land area to 10,838 acres.  In addition to Horseshoe Lake, there are several waterfowl impoundments to make the land attractive to ducks and other birds.  One individual, Dohn Broadwell, has been instrumental in securing conservation easements and building impoundments for the birds.


From I-95 near Fayetteville, take exit 49 for NC-53/NC-210 east.  After about 3 miles, follow NC-53 where it splits with NC-210 and travel another 10 miles or so.  Near the community of Jerome, turn left on Live Oak Methodist Church Road (a water tower should be visible) and follow this road until it turns to gravel.  Shortly after it turns gravel, turn left into the game land at the NC Wildlife Commission sign.



The best way to explore Horseshoe Lake is by boat.  Paddling around the lake is an excellent way to see this unique environment including cypress trees, floating bog mats, and pitcher plants.  Spring is an great time to visit and see the pitcher plants in bloom.  The picture below is a pitcher plant flower - I had never seen one (or even knew that pitcher plants did flower) until visiting and seeing them here.  The short video below shows a little bit of paddling on Horseshoe Lake.

Pitcher Plant Flower

External Links:

The Nature Conservancy website: http://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/regions/northamerica/unitedstates/northcarolina/placesweprotect/horseshoe-lake.xml

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