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Hiking Trail

Bay Tree State Natural Area Trails

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. 

Tunnel Trail

The Tunnel Trail spurs off the Weed Patch Mountain Trail near Eagle Rock. It showcases natural stone staircases, which bring hikers up and through a tunnel created by a huge granite rock slab leaning at the base of Eagle Rock. Mountain bikes are not permitted on this trail, foot traffic only. Rock climbing is permitted on Eagle Rock with a permit. Click here to reserve a parking space at Eagle Rock.

Pilot Creek Trail

This 3.3 mile one way trail starts at the Pilot Creek trailhead on Boyd Nelson Rd off Shoals Rd and the HWY 268 exit of US 52, ending at the family campground, where you can connect to the Grindstone Trail to link to a long loop around the mountain. Hikers must park at Boyd Nelson Rd., you may not park in the campground. The trail crosses tributaries of Pilot Creek and ascends through Pine Oak Heath forests to the campground. This trail was built by our Friends Group, Friends of Sauratown Mountains at no cost to the park.

Mountain Laurel Loop Trail- Bike/Hike

The Mountain Laurel Loop Trail starts at the Moccasin Branch Road access. This trail is a newly constructed, natural surface, beginner level mountain bicycle trail built to accommodate hand cycles.

This very scenic trail with winding turns and gentle slopes traverses through diverse ecosystems with stands of pine and hardwood timber. Mountain laurel occupies much of the understory along the trail as it travels across the contours of the north facing slopes, while the southern exposures provide more open forests for longer range views across the landscape.