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Falls Lake State Recreation Area

Falls Lake is a 12,000 acre lake, with 26,000 acres of surrounding woodlands, in northern Wake and Durham Counties that acts as a reservoir for Raleigh and other Wake County municipalities.  The recreation area provides boating and hiking activities for residents of the Triangle and surrounding communities.

Prior to construction of the Falls Dam, flooding of the Neuse River caused extensive damage in the area.  In the late 1970s, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began construction of the dam, which was completed in 1981.  The lake now serves as flood and water-quality control, water supply for much of Wake County, wildlife conservation, and a recreation area.  Ultimately, all the land surrounding the lake is owned by the Army Corps of Engineers and protected from development to ensure water safety.  Most of the land is leased to the state and managed by the NC Wildlife Resource Commission as Butner-Falls of Neuse Game Land.  Much of the remaining land is managed by NC State Parks as Falls Lake State Recreation Area.

Contact Information:

Falls Lake State Recreation Area

13304 Creedmoor Road
Wake Forest, NC 27587

Phone: (919) 676-1027
Email: falls.lake@ncparks.gov

GPS: 36.0117, -78.6888


The longest trail along the lake, at almost 60 miles, is the Falls Lake Trail, a section of the statewide Mountains-to-Sea Trail.  Most of this trail is through game lands managed by the North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission, but about 4.5 miles of the trail runs through state park lands in various areas.  See my Butner-Falls of Neuse Game Land page for more info on this trail.  In addition to Falls Lake Trail, there are several shorter trails at the various recreation sites.

Peninsula Trail:

Location: Shinleaf Recreation Area
Length: 1.1 miles

Peninsula Trail is a 1 mile trail at Shinleaf Recreation Area; the hike-in campsites are all located off this trail.  The trail starts behind the restrooms and follows an old road out onto the peninsula on the lake.  The last campsite is about a half-mile down the trail.  The peninsula is very narrow and you can see the lake on both sides of the trail.  It ends at the end of the peninsula at a sandy beach.

Rolling View Trail:

Location: Rolling View Recreation Area
Length: 1.5 miles

Rolling View Trail is a 1.5-mile trail leading through Rolling View Recreation Area.  Starting from the campgrounds, the trail crosses Baptist Road and leads to the swim beach.  At the northeast corner of the parking area, the trail continues following Rolling View Track Trail then to the group campground and ends at the boat ramp.

Rolling View Track Trail:

Location: Rolling View Recreation Area
Length: 0.7 miles

Rolling View Track Trail is a three-quarter mile loop through a pine forest near the Rolling View swim beach.

Blog Entries:

07-Jan-2018: Frozen Falls Lake

29-Jan-2017: Little Lick Creek

External Links:

NC State Parks website: http://www.ncparks.gov/Visit/parks/fala/main.php

Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail website: http://www.ncmst.org/