Saturday, July 3, 2010

A Day at the Beach: Falls Lake State Recreation Area

What it is: Falls Lake State Recreation Area is actually a huge park that surrounds various parts of Falls Lake. There are a number of facilities in the Area: campgrounds, boats launches, fishing spots, trails. But for most moms, this is a terrific beach spot to take little kids on a hot day. Falls Lake has three swimming beaches: Rolling View, Beaver Dam and Sandling. The most popular is Sandling Beach (the one in the photo). It could really feel like a day at the ocean, but for the lack of waves. There's a wide open view on the expanse of the lake and a very large sandy beach (no, it doesn't feel silty like some lakes). The added advantage of lake swimming is the entry is very gradual, and kids too young to swim can sit in the water for hours. The beach has excellent facilities, two bathroom buildings, two cold shower huts, lots of picnic tables and bbq pits, two play structures, racks of safety vests, and lots of adjacent parking.

What we liked:
If you can't drive to the coast, this is the next best thing! And we've been there even on the weekends and never felt too cramped for space.

What we would change:
given the adjacent farms and the people who don't curb their dogs, the lake can be closed to swimming because of bacterial contamination, so you need to check before heading out. The state monitors the water quality carefully, and closes the beach the minute bacteria are rising, so check the website or call the park office before heading out.

Website and other important information:
Sandling and Beaver Dam beahces are located on Hwy 50 (Creedmoor Road), between Creedmoor and North Raleigh.

Address: 13304 Creedmoor Rd., Wake Forest, NC 27587, (919) 676-1027

Website: The park website is at Click on the red Area Closures/Notices line to get the latest on water quality.

Hours: The park is pretty much open 8 to 9 all summer, seven days a week

Fee: $6 per carload for the day


1. Sandling Beach Entrance

2. A panoramic view of the lake

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