Located in Onslow County North Carolina near the beach and right across the road from the massive Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base, Stones Creek Game Land is one of North Carolina's smaller state wildlife tracts.
But its 2978 acres are packed with natural beauty.
1.) Scout the best route for North Carolina's state-wide Mountains-to-Sea Trail which will pass through this Game Land.
2.) Circumnavigate all seven of the small picturesque lakes on the property. Every one of the lakes has a trail or road that runs completely around it.
3.) Enjoy the peace and quiet - hunting season hasn't started yet - and bask in the beautiful fall weather.
4.) Accomplish all this in just over ten miles of hiking.
Now for a photo tour: I've numbered the lakes in geographical order (south to north) rather than in the order I visited them. Lakes four through seven are strung together like beads in a necklace with only narrow berms separating them. Lakes one and seven are the largest, and also my favorites.
|Lake One beauty shot
|More Lake One beauty
|Biggest web spinning spider I've ever seen: three inches across
|Tree and sky in the Longleaf Pine Savannah
Not exactly a 'best kept secret' - Stones Creek Game Land is well known by locals - this is nevertheless one of the more unexpected and underrated little gems of eastern North Carolina. Below is a map of the GPS track for the hike:
Stones Crk Gameland - seven lake tour at EveryTrail
EveryTrail - Find the best Hiking near Wilmington, North Carolina