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Franklin County Nature Preserve


This 88-acre preserve is more reminiscent of the mountains than the eastern piedmont, with numerous large outcrops of granite. The lake and waterfall sections each have 1.8 miles of inviting trails for birding. The lake section features plants from across North Carolina. Enter this section by crossing the small footbridge at the parking lot. The switchback trail meanders along the hillside before coming out on top of a large granite outcrop that provides a view of the small lake. Continue across the lake passing a cut over area where the trail enters the forest along a stream before going uphill to loop back to the lake. Continue on the trail past the dam to return to the parking lot. The waterfall area trailhead is on the north side of the parking lot. This section remains a natural habitat with entirely native plants. The trail passes through a power line right-of-way and then reenters the forest where it crosses a stream several times. It eventually leads to a small waterfall that flows over a granite outcrop and into a small, shallow lake. Continuing on, the trail loops back to follow the power line and return to the parking lot.

Species of Interest (Full Bird List)

Acadian Flycatcher, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Brown-headed Nuthatch, Indigo Bunting


dry coniferous woodlands, oak forest & mixed hardwoods/pine, early successional, lake and stream

Access and Parking

The site is open only on weekends (Saturday and Sunday). Visitors must register at the gazebo before hiking the trails. Trail maps are available at the gazebo. Contact the site manager for hours of operation and possible restrictions.


From the intersection of US 401 and NC 56 in Louisburg, travel south on US 401 for 4.75 miles. The entrance and parking area is on the left.

Google Directions

Delorme Gazetteer Page


Bird List

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