Falls Lake formed as a result of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ efforts to control damaging Neuse River floods and to create a water supply for surrounding communities. Construction of the dam, which began in 1978, took two years.
Today, Falls Lake State Park offers visitors a chance to explore five swim beaches along the 12,000-acre reservoir’s shoreline, 13 miles of trails suitable for cycling or hiking, 300-plus campsites, three reservable shelters and numerous picnic sites with outdoor grills and tables. Be sure to wear blaze orange while hiking the Falls Lake Trail during deer-hunting season, part of which travels through N.C. Wildlife Resource Commission gamelands.
Grab a snack or rent a canoe at privately managed Rollingview Marina, then access one of several nearby boating ramps for nonmotorized watercraft to embark on a tranquil exploration of Falls Lake. Anglers can catch bass, bluegill, catfish and crappie.
Enjoy colorful wildflowers throughout the park, such as tick-seed sunflowers, butterfly weeds and asters. And look for diverse wildlife such as bald eagles, red-tailed hawks, screech owls, ospreys, red foxes, raccoons, white-tailed deer and rabbits.