Wake Forest Reservoir Soft Trails

Location: surrounding the Wake Forest ReservoirReservoir Soft Trail

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

Safety Guide for Hiking



HistoryReservoir Soft Trails
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.

In conjunction with National Public Lands Day, the Town of Wake Forest Greenways Advisory Board hosted a trail clean up at the Wake Forest Reservoir on September 28, 2013.  Over 100 volunteers participated in the efforts to pick up trash along the soft trail.  Volunteers were excited about the existing soft trail segment on the west side of the Reservoir, and look forward to contributing to trail development and maintenance on the east side.

Clean up volunteers Clean up volunteers
Volunteers assembled for a quick photo during the clean-up.

Trash results Trash results
Volunteers collected an estimated 800 pounds of trash!

Scheduled Maintenance
A land survey and property boundary marking is currently underway. This effort is critical in completing the soft trail design.

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.

Wake Forest Bond ReferendumPhase 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.

Wake Forest Bond ReferendumPhase 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.