Wake Forest Reservoir Soft Trails
Location: surrounding the Wake Forest Reservoir
Trail Type: soft trail, natural surface
Length: 1.6 miles one way (Boat Ramp to Oak Grove Church Road), 3.2 miles total
Time to Complete: 2 hours to 3.5 hours
Parking: A small gravel lot is located at the southern end of the reservoir. The driveway to the lake is located off of Traditions Grande Boulevard near Wait Avenue.
Amenities: fishing and boating access
The Wake Forest Reservoir was created as a drinking water source for the Town in the early 1960s (Connections… 100 Years of Wake Forest History, by Carol W. Pelosi). The lake is open for paddle and electric powered boats. There is a small concrete boat ramp adjacent to the parking area.
Shortly after the City of Raleigh utility merger, the water plant was taken off line, but limited operations are still in place at the reservoir. You can still see some of the water plant structures on site. Falls Lake has become the primary source of drinking water for residents.
In 2012-2013, the town staff and the Greenways Advisory Board worked with many volunteers, primarily members of the Boy Scout Troop #5, to create over a mile and a half of soft trail on the west side of the reservoir. Portions of this trail were made possible by contributions and efforts provided by JPM South developers. The trail connects the parking lot at the southern end of the reservoir to Oak Grove Church Road. In 2013, Ryan Welker, a student at Wake Forest High School, began constructing a portion of the western side of the Reservoir soft trail to fulfill requirements for his Eagle Scout Project.
Future Soft Trail
The Town of Wake Forest plans to continue the trail around the east side of the reservoir to complete the loop. In order to complete the trail loop, town staff will work with neighboring land owners to select the ideal location for this trail segment. Other trails will be constructed to provide direct access to this loop from neighboring subdivisions. Connections will also be made to the Dunn Creek Greenway corridor and the Smith Creek Greenway corridor.
Phase I—Boat Ramp to Oak Grove Church Road
This project includes preliminary engineering, easement acquisition and construction to provide a pedestrian bridge crossing and boardwalk on the west side of the Reservoir. Currently this project will be on hold until 2020. The Town of Wake Forest is working with the City of Raleigh on transfer of the property back to the Town.
Phase II—Oak Grove Church Road to Boat Ramp
This project includes preliminary engineering, easement acquisition and construction to provide a pedestrian bridge crossing and boardwalk on the east side of the Reservoir.