MST Falls Lake – Day 1

Starting with 101 miles, 15,850 ft. ascent

From E. Geer St. to Jimmy Rogers Rd., Durham

Falls lake - Sharon and Danny start out

It was cold and icy in Asheville. The Blue Ridge Parkway is closed in the mountains and many trees were down. But Sharon and I had itchy feet and wanted to do some more of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail. So we decided to go to the Triangle to do the Falls Lake section, around Durham and Raleigh.

We arrived on Thursday at noon and met at the junction of Jimmy Rogers Rd and Little Rogers Rd. in a very desolate area of Durham. Kate Dixon, Executive Director of the Friends of the MST, had agreed to hike with us and we were thrilled. She knew the area and would provide an insider’s view of the MST.

Fall Lake - Longleaf pineWe shuttled to E. Geer St. and started our hike. Falls Lake was iced over, a very unusual event here.

We knew right away that we were no longer in the Blue Ridge. We were surrounded by loblolly pines, a southern tree that you don’t see in the mountains and even a couple of small longleaf pines. The terrain was gently undulating, certainly not flat. We went up and down between 200 and 300 ft.

Falls Lake - tobacco barnAnd lots of artifacts or garbage, depending on how you looked at it. Cars, trucks, appliances had been left here by residents when they moved out. We passed a tobacco barn, among other structures.

We were going west to east but were following trail instructions written east to west. Not easy. At one point, we misread the instructions and crossed a causeway over an inlet, couldn’t find the trail and walked back, losing over 45 minutes.

We ended up walking in the dark and got out of the woods at 6 P.M. We had walked 8.5 miles and climbed 800 ft. Then we picked up the car from the start of the hike, drove to the end of the next day’s hike and left a car there over night.

Cumulative after day 8 – 109.5 miles, 16,650 ft, ascent


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