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.
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.
The Weed Patch Mountain Trail connects Eagle Rock in Chimney Rock State Park to Buffalo Creek Park near Rumbling Bald Resort. It traverses rugged mountain terrain through a remote wilderness area. The trail is designed for hiking and mountain biking. Rock climbing is permitted on Eagle Rock with a permit. Click here to reserve a parking space at Eagle Rock.
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.
This trail takes you along the river and through an ancient sand dune forest, looping around the southern end of the park before connecting back to Sugarloaf Trail. Part of this trail is on U.S. federal property. Stay on trail and follow the yellow-green diamond markers.
The loop is 3.2 miles and the connector trail from the parking lot to the trail is .35 miles one way. This moderate trail follows the contours, slowly going down to the wetlands and slowly back up.
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.
The Skyline Trail starts at Exclamation Point and guides visitors even higher in elevation to Peregrine Point at 2,640 feet. After gazing across and into scenic Hickory Nut Gorge, visitors can continue their woodland hike to Falls Creek, which begins its 404-foot plunge as Hickory Nut Falls near the trail's end.
This trail provides free access to the Rocky Broad River in Chimney Rock where visitors can stroll by boulder-strewn waters and readily access local shops and restaurants. Free parking available in the village alongside Highway 64/74A. Look for the public accesses next to the Old Rock Cafe and the village restrooms.
Our newest trail, that includes several natural rock and tree obstacles and is rated as a difficult trail for hiking and moderate for biking.