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Clemmons Educational State Forest

Clemmons Educational State Forest is an educational forest in Johnston and Wake County near Clayton.  It is the first of North Carolina's Educational State Forests, having opened in 1976.  The forest offers a number of self-guided interpretive trails as well as ranger-led classes with an emphasis on forestry and forest management, as well as ample picnic sites.

Contact Information:

Clemmons Educational State Forest
2411 Old U.S. 70 West
Clayton, N.C. 27520

Phone: (919) 553-5651
Email: ClemmonsESF.ncfs@ncagr.gov

Directions:

From Raleigh, take I-40 east to exit 306 for US-70 and get on US-70 BUS east towards Clayton.  In about 2 miles, turn left on Auburn Knightdale Road and then right E Garner Road, which becomes Old US-70 west.  The forest entrance will be on the left, about 3.8 miles from this last turn.

Map:

Hiking:

Demonstration Trail:

Length: 2.2 miles (loop)
Blaze: Red

The Demonstration Trail begins at a split from Talking Rock Trail and heads north.  As the trail turns to loop back around, the Watershed Extension Loop splits off.  The trail then heads back towards Talking Rock Trail and makes another loop that heads back to the parking area.

Talking Rock Trail:

Length: 0.8 miles (loop)
Blaze: Yellow

The Talking Rock Trail is a short interpretive loop with several exhibits of "talking" rocks.  The trail starts near the pond and loops around to another loop along boardwalks.  There are a number of exhibits on this section for visitors to "talk" to the rocks and learn about the geology of the forest.  The largest loblolly pine in the forest is also along this trail.  To finish up the loop, follow the signs that lead back to the parking area.

Watershed Extension Loop:

Length: 3 miles (loop)
Blaze: Orange

The Watershed Extension Loop is the longest trail in the forest at 3 miles.  And since the trail starts from the far end of the Demonstration Trail, the total hike is going to be about 5 miles.  From the split with Demonstration Trail, the trail leads to a clearing where it splits to form a loop.  Although its a loop and you could hike it either way, the signs direct hikers to travel the loop in the counterclockwise direction.  After the clearing the trail heads into the woods and roughly follows Beddingfield Creek upstream to a powerline clearing.  The trail loops around and starts heading back with a creek crossing on Mike's Creek and loops back around to the beginning.

Blog Entries:

External Links:

North Carolina Forest Service website: http://www.ncesf.org/cesf/home.htm

Photos:


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