Falls Lake State Recreation Area

Falls Lake State Recreation Area is a North Carolina state park in Durham and Wake Counties, North Carolina in the United States. Near Wake Forest, North Carolina, it covers 5,035 acres (20.38 km2)[1] along the shores of 12,410-acre (50.2 km2) Falls Lake.

Falls Lake State Recreation Area
2008-03-09 Falls Lake boat ramp
Boating access at Falls Lake
Map showing the location of Falls Lake State Recreation Area
Map showing the location of Falls Lake State Recreation Area
Location of Falls Lake State Recreation Area in North Carolina
LocationNorth Carolina, United States
Coordinates36°01′00″N 78°41′45″W / 36.01667°N 78.69583°WCoordinates: 36°01′00″N 78°41′45″W / 36.01667°N 78.69583°W
Area5,035 acres (20.38 km2)[1]
Named forFalls Lake
Governing bodyNorth Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation
WebsiteFalls Lake State Recreation Area


Prior to 1978, flooding of the Neuse River caused extensive damage to public and private properties including roadways, railroads, industrial sites and farmlands. The Falls Lake Project was developed by the US Army Corps of Engineers to control damaging floods. Construction of the dam began in 1978 and was completed in 1981. In addition to recreation opportunities, Falls Lake now provides flood and water-quality control, water supply, and fish and wildlife conservation.

In 1992, the NC Division of Parks and Recreation took control of the James Mangum House as part of Beaverdam Recreation Area.

Rock Cliff Farm is owned by the Federal government, and part of a large acreage managed by the State of North Carolina as the Falls Lake State Recreation Area.[2] It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2007.[3]


Falls Lake hiking trails on the south side are part of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail which stretches from Clingmans Dome in the Great Smoky Mountains to Jockey's Ridge State Park on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

Camping along the Falls Lake portion of the trail is only available at Shinleaf Recreation Area in Wake County and Rolling View Recreation Area in Durham County. Trails are easy to moderate on some steep ridges.

Mountain biking

The Beaver Dam bike trails at Falls Lake are easy to intermediate and have trails for everyone. Trail heads are accessible from inside park entrance at Beaverdam Recreation Area only.

Kayak and canoeing

Launching kayaks and canoes leads to endless possibilities with the many miles of water to explore in Falls Lake. Visit camp sites, swimming areas, local marinas and see wildlife such as catfish, turtles,deer and osprey. Use caution on popular holidays such as Memorial Day, the lake will be crowded with water skiers and jet skis. Beaver Dam lake boat launch, just north of the Hwy 50 boat launch does not allow motor boats and is safer for the beginner paddler. It also has a beach with swimming area. Falls Lake is accessible by kayak from Beaver Dam Lake. Fees apply to both ramps in the summer.

In literature

Falls Lake is one of the settings in the spy thriller novel Crisis Four by Andy McNab.[4]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Size of the North Carolina State Parks System". North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation. January 1, 2015. Archived from the original (XLS) on 2015-10-04. Retrieved October 3, 2015.
  2. ^ Davyd Foard Hood (July 2006). "Rock Cliff Farm" (pdf). National Register of Historic Places - Nomination and Inventory. North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office. Retrieved 2015-06-01.
  3. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09.
  4. ^ McNab, Andy (2000). Crisis Four. New York: Ballantine Books. ISBN 0345428072.

External links

Bartons Creek Township, Wake County, North Carolina

Bartons Creek Township (also designated Township 2) is one of twenty townships within Wake County, North Carolina. As of the 2010 census, Bartons Creek Township had a population of 22,055.The township occupies 38.0 square miles (98.3 km2) in the northwestern corner of Wake County, including portions of the city of Raleigh.The township is bounded by the border with Durham County, Old Creedmoor Rd, Baileywick Rd, Creedmoor Rd, Strickland Rd, Falls of Neuse Rd, the Neuse River, and Falls Lake. The community of Falls is located partially within the township. Notable features include the Mountains-to-Sea Trail, Falls Lake State Recreation Area, and Blue Jay Point County Park. The entire township is within the Falls Lake watershed. I-540 goes through the southern portion of the township.

Bertram Whittier Wells

Bertram Whittier (B.W.) Wells (1884–1978) was an American botanist and ecologist active in North Carolina. His most influential work was Natural Gardens of North Carolina (1932).

During his long and active life, B. W. (Bertram Whittier) Wells (1884–1978) was keenly interested in the study and preservation of North Carolina's unique landscape. He spent time studying the Big Savannah in North Carolina's Pender County, a spot he made famous in his publications on "natural gardens." Wells also, unsuccessfully, worked to save the Big Savannah from development. In 2002, a similar ecological site was dedicated to Wells's memory. Wells's concern for the environment was evidenced in his teaching and work as the head of North Carolina State College's (later North Carolina State University) Botany Department, his writing, and his personal involvement in botanical and environmental associations. James R. Troyer rightly titled his book about Wells Nature's Champion.

Born in 1884, in Troy, Ohio, Wells studied botany at Ohio State University, received his doctorate at the University of Chicago, and taught at a number of universities before he came to North Carolina State College in 1919. Wells headed the Botany Department from 1919 to 1949 and continued teaching until his retirement in 1954. During his thirty-five years at North Carolina State, Wells had a significant impact on scientific study. His research interests included the insect galls of plants, the effects of salt on coastal vegetation, Bald Head Island vegetation, and the possible formation by meteorites of the Carolina Bays, in the eastern part of the state. Wells was also a vocal advocate of the teaching of evolution in the 1920s and helped to prevent the legislature from banning it in the public schools. His botanical interests led him to write a book titled The Natural Gardens of North Carolina. Originally written in 1932 and published with the help of the North Carolina Garden Club, the book is still in print from University of North Carolina Press. It provides an account of North Carolina plant life and has a particularly forward-looking position on ecology, advocating the study of plants in their natural environments.

Wells had a profound love for his retirement property, called Rock Cliff Farm, located on a bend in the Neuse River. In the 1970s, the Falls of the Neuse Reservoir submerged much of the property and the famed Ziegle's Rock. The property was subsumed within the Falls Lake State Recreation Area, where, in cooperation with the B. W. Wells Association and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the homestead has been preserved. Initially conceived by the B. W. Wells Association as the Rockcliff Farm Interpretive Area (later called the B. W. Wells Home and Interpretive Area), the site is used to educate the public about B.W. Wells and promote his conservation ethics. Rock Cliff Farm is owned by the Federal government, and part of a large acreage managed by the State of North Carolina as the Falls Lake State Recreation Area. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2007.The Rockcliff Farm property, home, and personally constructed art studio provided Wells with an ideal setting in which to cultivate his interest in painting. Although his love for art had been lifelong and he had been involved in the McLean Mural controversy during his years at State, Wells began teaching himself to paint in his 70s. Although he never sold any artwork, he frequently gave it to friends, and a number of pieces are on exhibit at the Wells historical site. Wells's second wife Maude Barnes Wells, who died in 2001, shared his love of the property. Wells's first wife, Edna Metz Wells, who died in 1938, was a respected local teacher and was honored with a Wake County, North Carolina, park named in her honor.

Although Wells died in December 1978, his contributions, particularly in North Carolina, have engendered a devoted following for his life and work. In addition to J. R. Troyer's biography of Wells, there remains a B. W. Wells Association to administer the historic site and site of his former property, as well as to pass on his botanical knowledge and environmental interests to new generations.

James R. Troyer gathered much of the material in this collection during his preparation for the book, Nature's Champion: B. W. Wells, Tar Heel Ecologist. Born in Goshen, Indiana, in 1929, Troyer received his B.A. at DePauw University, his M.A. at Ohio State University, and his Ph.D. in Botany at Columbia University, in 1954. After teaching at Yale University until 1957, Troyer began his career at North Carolina State College as an assistant professor of botany. During his 38 years at State, Troyer became a full professor with a focus on plant physiology and the history of botany, particularly in North Carolina. He has held the position of Emeritus Professor of Botany since 1995.

Capital Boulevard

Capital Boulevard is a major thoroughfare in Wake County, North Carolina. At various points along the route, it carries NC 50, US 70, US 401, and US 1. It links Downtown Raleigh with its northeastern suburbs. It is one of the busiest corridors in Raleigh, with 63000 average daily vehicles near its intersection with I-440.

Falls Lake

Falls Lake is a 12,410 acre (50 km²) reservoir located in Durham, Wake, and Granville counties in North Carolina, United States. Falls Lake extends 28 miles (45 km) up the Neuse River to its source at the confluence of the Eno, Little, and Flat rivers.

The lake is named for the Falls of the Neuse, a once whitewater section of the river that fell from the Piedmont into the lower Coastal Plain submerged during construction of the lake.

The lake provides drinking water for several of the surrounding communities, including the city of Raleigh, aids with flood control and serves as a recreation area and wildlife habitat.

Work on the dam that holds the lake began in 1978 and was completed in 1981. Prior to its construction flooding of the Neuse River caused extensive damage to public and private properties including roadways, railroads, industrial sites and farmlands. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers constructed and manages the dam. Falls Dam (35°56′30″N 78°34′57″W) is an earthen structure having a top elevation of 291.5 feet (88.8 m) and an overall length of 1,915 feet (584 m). The height above the streambed is 92.5 feet (28 m).

James Mangum House

The James Mangum House is a historic home located near Creedmoor, Wake County, North Carolina. Built in 1838, it is an example of Federal architecture. In November 1974, the James Mangum House was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.The house stands on the eastern shore of Beaverdam Lake in northwestern Wake County, North Carolina. In the 1970s, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) acquired the house and land for inclusion in the Beaverdam Recreation Area of the Falls Lake State Recreation Area. The house went through extensive rehabilitation as well as an archeological survey of the immediate grounds by the USACE. In 1992, the NC Division of Parks and Recreation took control of the house as part of Beaverdam Recreation Area.

Lake Lynn (Raleigh, North Carolina)

Lake Lynn is a man-made lake in Raleigh, North Carolina. The lake was created for flood control purposes in 1976 by damming Hare Snipe Creek, a tributary of Crabtree Creek. The lake has an area of 55.7 acres (22.5 ha) and lies entirely within the city of Raleigh's 75-acre (30 ha) Lake Lynn Park. The park includes a 2.8 mi (4.5 km) paved trail around the lake (part of the Capital Area Greenway system), as well as a community center, playground, and tennis courts.

Lake Lynn Dam (also named Crabtree Watershed Dam #22b), is a 42 foot (13 m) high, 620 foot (190 m) long earth dam.


Lake Lynn has an aquatic wildlife that includes common varieties of lake fish found in North Carolina. Turtles are also commonly seen in the shallower parts of the lake and it is not uncommon to see the turtles come out of the lake on a sunny day. Snakes and birds are also commonly seen around this mini ecosystem.

List of North Carolina state parks

The State of North Carolina has a group of protected areas known as the North Carolina State Park System, which is managed by the North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation (NCDPR), an agency of the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (NCDNCR). Units of the system can only be established by an act of the General Assembly of North Carolina. The park system began in 1916 when the summit of Mount Mitchell became first state park in the Southeastern United States. According to the Division of Parks & Recreation, "the State Parks Act of 1987 lists six types of units included in the NC State Parks System." These are State Parks, State Recreation Areas, State Natural Areas, State Lakes, State Trails, and State Rivers. All units of the system are owned and/or managed by the division, and the division leases some of the units to other agencies for operation. Most units of the park system are also components of State Nature and Historic Preserve.

Mountains-to-Sea Trail

The Mountains-to-Sea State Trail (MST) is a long-distance trail for hiking and backpacking, that traverses North Carolina from the Great Smoky Mountains to the Outer Banks. The trail's western endpoint is at Clingman's Dome, where it connects to the Appalachian Trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Its eastern endpoint is in Jockey's Ridge State Park on the tallest sand dune on the east coast. The trail is envisioned as a scenic backbone of an interconnected trail system spanning the state. As such, the trail's route attempts to connect as many trail systems and natural scenic areas as practicable. A little over half of the trail is complete in multiple segments across the state.

The Mountains-to-Sea State Park Trail was made an official land-based unit of the state park system by the General Assembly on August 2, 2000. Since that time, the State Trail unit has grown to encompass 691 acres (280 ha) in three tracts and 87 acres (35 ha) in conservation easements. Each of these tracts is leased to local governments for management as nature parks, under the guidance of the NC Division of Parks and Recreation (NCDPR). The vast majority of the foot trail is located on lands not directly managed as part of a state park unit.

The trail is a part of the North Carolina State Trails System, which is a section of NCDPR, and as of January 2019, 669 miles (1,077 km) of trail has been designated as a part of the MST by NCDPR.The segments of MST along the Blue Ridge Parkway were designated as National Recreation Trail in 2005.

The MST has the distinction of being the highest elevation long-distance trail in the eastern United States as it crosses Mount Mitchell at 6,684 feet (2,037 m).

North Carolina Highway 50

North Carolina Highway 50 (NC 50) is a primary state highway in the U.S. state of North Carolina. It traverses north–south, from Topsail Beach to Creedmoor, connecting the cities of Warsaw, Newton Grove, Benson, and Raleigh.

Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area

Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area is a North Carolina state park in Orange County, North Carolina in the United States. Located adjacent to the town of Hillsborough, it covers 206 acres (0.83 km2) and includes Occoneechee Mountain, the highest point (867 ft) in Orange County and a settlement of the Occaneechi tribe.

Rock Cliff Farm

Rock Cliff Farm, also known as the B.W. Wells Farm, is a historic farm and national historic district located near Wake Forest, Wake County, North Carolina. The property is owned by the Federal government, and part of a large acreage managed by the State of North Carolina as the Falls Lake State Recreation Area. Contributing resources include the Grounds of Rock Cliff Farm, Ray-Wells House (c. 1895, c. 1954), meathouse (c. 1885-1890), Lowery-Ray Cemetery (1901), studio (1954, c. 1955-1960), lumber storage rack (c. 1954-1955), Ray House (c. 1900-1920), and Ray House Outbuilding (c. 1900-1920). Rock Cliff Farm was the retirement residence of Dr. Bertram Whittier Wells (1884-1978), a noted American botanist and ecologist active.The district was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2007.

Wake County, North Carolina

Wake County is a county in the U.S. state of North Carolina. As of July 1, 2015, the population was 1,024,198, making it North Carolina's second-most populous county. From July 2005 to July 2006, Wake County was the 9th fastest-growing county in the United States, with the town of Cary and the city of Raleigh being the 8th and 15th fastest-growing cities, respectively.Its county seat is Raleigh, which is also the state capital. Eleven other municipalities are in Wake County, the largest of which is Cary, the third largest city of the Research Triangle region and the seventh largest municipality in North Carolina.

It is governed by the Wake County Board of Commissioners, coterminous with the Wake County Public School System school district, with law enforcement provided by the Wake County Sheriff's Department. It is also part of the wider Triangle J Council of Governments which governs regional planning.

Wake Forest, North Carolina

Wake Forest is a town in Franklin and Wake counties in the U.S. state of North Carolina; located almost entirely in Wake County, it lies just north of the state capital, Raleigh. The population was 30,117 at the 2010 census, up from 12,588 at the 2000 census. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates the city's population to be 34,752 as of July 1, 2013. In 2007, the town was listed by Forbes magazine as the 20th fastest growing suburb in America, with a 73.2 percent increase in population between 2000 and 2006. Wake Forest was the original home of Wake Forest University for 122 years before it moved to Winston-Salem in 1956.

The US Office of Management and Budget also includes Wake Forest as a part of the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill Combined Statistical Area, which has a population of 1,998,808 as of U.S. Census 2012 Population Estimates. Effective June 6, 2003 the Office of Management and Budget redefined the Federal Statistical Areas and dismantled what had been for decades the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, MSA and split them into two separate MSAs even though the region still functions as a single metropolitan area.

William B. Umstead State Park

William B. Umstead State Park is a North Carolina state park in Wake County, North Carolina in the United States. It covers 5,599 acres (22.66 km2) nestled between the expanding cities of Raleigh, Cary, and Durham, North Carolina. It offers hiking, bridle, and bike trails, boat rentals, camping, picnic areas, and educational programs.

Part of the East Coast Greenway, a 3,000 mile long system of trails connecting Maine to Florida, runs through the park.



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