This route covers Segment 13B of North Carolina’s 1150-mile Mountains-to-Sea Trail. It allows visitors to explore one of the most diverse and intriguing ecological areas in the nation as well as a Revolutionary War site and the resort community of White Lake.
The route traverses public lands that protect many “Carolina Bays,” elliptical depressions all aligned in a northwest to southeast direction. The bays provide habitat for many rare and endangered species, and theories abound about how they were originally formed. Some of the more famous bays along the trail route, including Jones, White, and Singletary, are large lakes. In other places, visitors should look for bays without standing water—still with the same shape and directional alignment. The bays are named for the bay tree which grows in many of them.
At Turnbull Creek Educational State Forest, trail users can also learn about the naval stores industry which tapped longleaf pine for tar and turpentine until the Civil War and about the role that public-land managers in Bladen County are playing today to revive the population of endangered Red-cockaded Woodpeckers.
- Carolina bays at Suggs Mill Pond Game Land, Jones Lake State Park, the town of White Lake, and Singletary Lake State Park
- Harmony Hall Plantation, one of the oldest residences in North Carolina, built before the Revolutionary War
- Jones Lake State Park with its beautiful bay forest ecosystem
- Interpretive signs at Turnbull Creek Educational State Forest about the ecology and history of the area
- The town of White Lake, a resort community where visitors can take a break to swim and sun or play putt-putt and ride a ferris wheel!
- Interpretive signs at Singletary Lake State Park exploring some of the theories of the origins of the Carolina Bays
Segments 11-16 of the MST offer three options while construction of the MST is underway along the Neuse River between Smithfield and the Neusiok Trail in the Croatan National Forest: The “A” route, a paddling route on the Neuse River; the “B” pedestrian route, known as the Coastal Crescent; and the “C” route, the historic foot traffic/biking route. This guide follows the Coastal Crescent route; for more information about the other routes, visit Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail’s trail guide page
Hunting is permitted in the Suggs Mill Pond Game Land and Bladen Lakes State Forest. Hunting in the Suggs Mill Pond Game Land is by permit only, and when scheduled hunts are occurring, the game land is closed to the public including anybody on the MST. Information about hunt schedules can be found online
particularly in the “permit hunt publication” in the quick reference box. Hunting may occur at any time in the hunting season on the Bladen Lakes State Forest. Always wear blaze orange when traveling in these areas, and learn more about hunting seasons and regulations before your trip at ncwildlife.org/Hunting/Laws…
There are blazes and signs for park trails (but not for the MST) in Jones Lake and Singletary Lake state parks. Otherwise, the trail is not marked in this segment.
For more information about the segment, including camping, lodging, parking, shuttles, resupply information, and trail angels, as well as detailed, turn-by-turn directions, download a trail guide
from the Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail.