At 2,978 acres, the Stones Creek Game Land is far from North Carolina's largest, but it is a little gem--full of diversity and natural beauty. It contains about half a dozen 'bays' or lakes, and my hiking route took me past one of these that is half a mile long (view shown above), and I was able to hike a complete 1.5 mile circuit around its perimeter following a jeep track that hugs the shore.
There are also high sandy areas with sparse woodland, the classic fire-dependent flat boggy woodland, and wet lands along the streams. My hiking route gave me the opportunity to ford Stones Creek and a small tributary of it - both fords were just ankle deep ford with a nice firm gravel/sandy bottom - no swamp muck to wade through.
I ended the day hiking two miles along US 17 on a luxuriously wide mown-grass shoulder between the highway and the Game Land. All in all it was a delightful hike. Below are some of the other photographic highlights:
|Western arm of the lake or 'bay'|
|Park-like grassy shoulder between US 17 and Game Land|
|Ford of Stones Creek tributary on jeep track|
|High open sandy area|
|Stand of young Longleaf Pine along jeep track|
|Unusual shaped tree, lower branches probably killed by fire|
The full set of photos is accessible on this map of the track of today's hike:
MST Day 8 - Stones Creek Game Land
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