Thursday, February 7, 2013

Stones Creek Game Land - MST Day 8

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
EveryTrail - Find the best Hiking near Wilmington, North Carolina

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