Flat terrain offers an easy exploration of North Carolina's bay lakes with plenty of opportunities for environmental education.
Bay Tree Lake State Natual Area encompasses 620 acres of Longleaf pine forest, Carolina bay, and xeric sandhill upland that features turkey oak, bluejack oak, and southern magnolia. An undeveloped parking area is located off Hwy 41 approximately 3.5 miles east of NC 701 at White Lake. This area features sizable populations of eastern fox squirrel and American black bear among the more common species such as gray squirrel, white-tailed deer, cottontail rabbit, bobcat, coyote, river otter, and beaver. Birders will find a variety of species both indigenous to the forest and the lake shore. Hikers are cautioned that trails may feature venemous snake species to include Southern copperhead, cottonmouth moccasin, pygmy and canebrake rattlesnakes. Those who desire to access the 1485-acre Bay Tree Lake with four-wheel-drive vehicles to canoe or kayak may register to do so by calling the park office during weekday business hours at (910) 669-2928.
Journey through a forest of bay shrubs, cedar, cypress, gum and poplars. The return segment of the trail takes you through a forest of longleaf pine and bay vegetation.