Lake Gaston - Hawtree Crk Trip
Put In -
In Norlina at the junction of US 1/158/401 take US 1 north for 4.1 miles.
Turn right onto Wise Five Forks Rd. (SR 1306) Go .4 miles turn left onto
Paschall Station Rd. (SR 1300) Follow 3.5 miles to Stop sign Turn right onto
Peete Farm Rd. (SR 1307). Go 1
mile to the WRC access on the left.
Distance/Time - 13.4 miles/5 1/2 hours
Difficulty - Above Average.
Trip Directions - I heard about this boat ramp on Lake Gaston from a fisherman
I work with. Since Lake Gaston is very heavily developed, the public
access areas are few. This one looked interesting because it let me
paddle two creeks, Hawtree and Smith Creeks. Also, an old abandoned
railroad trestle showed up on the satellite map. At the boat ramp I
headed up Hawtree creek and was stopped by lily pads that were covered by
small gnats. Whenever I paddled through them they all swarmed me and
the dog. Did not bite, just hundreds of them. I then headed back
to the main lake via Hawtree Creek and then paddled west along the shoreline
to Smith Creek. It would be possible to put-in at the bridge over
Smith Creek, but the parking and route to the water is not the best.
Many fisherman use the bridge for fishing. I was able to paddle up
Smith Creek all the way past I-85. Road noise is high in this area.
I had lunch on a nice sand bar in the creek. I could have further
paddled up the creek, but the wind was picking up. Ended up the wind
was at my back most of the way on the return trip, except Hawtree Creek.
It was a long paddle in the end, but the weather was perfect.
Saw many turtles out sunning, various egrets, and one bald eagle. Was
fun viewing all the homes and boats docked in the area.