Parks and Camping
Falls Lake State Recreation Area is a North Carolina state park in Durham and Wake Counties, North Carolina in the United States. NearWake Forest, North Carolina, it covers over 30,000 acres (121 km²) and includes the 12,000 acre (49 km²) Falls Lake.
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.
Falls Lake hiking trails on the south side are part of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail which stretches from Clingmans Dome in the Great smokey 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.
The Beaver Dam bike trails at Falls Lake are easy to intermediate and have trails for everyone. Check the TriangleMTB web site for trail maps and closings due to rain or maintenance. 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.