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The shoreline of the island in Martin Creek Lake

Martin Creek Lake State Park

Martin Creek Lake State Park sits on a peninsula and island of a small lake.

A picturesque wood bridge crosses the water to the island, which is encircled by a short loop trail.  The trail follows the lake shore, dips briefly into a tall pine forest and emerges onto a grassy scrub before crossing through the woods again back to the lake. On a recent walk there I ran across about a dozen rabbits, so for lack of a name, I’ll call it Rabbit Island.

The shoreline of the island opposite the dam that created the Lake

The shoreline of the island opposite the dam that created the lake

Across from the island a long fishing pier reaches into the water, a sign at the entrance touting the lake’s inventory of bass, crappie and catfish. The pier and a couple of floating docks nearby are often lined with fisherman.

The waterfront of the island and much of the rest of the park is lined with patches of tall grass, where egrets and herons forage for small fish. The forests abound in cardinals, mockingbirds, woodpeckers, quail and other common birds.

There are two other significant trails in the 286-acre park – a twisting and winding bike trail that crisscrosses the woodlands of the north side of the park for more than six miles and the 1.2-mile Martin Creek Lake Trail that wanders through a hardwood and pine forest and crosses a short bridge before gracing the edge of the lake on its return. The two trails’ paths cross repeatedly along their lengths.

The lake’s serenity – and its view – is somewhat marred by the generating plant across the water, whose low hum you can hear from most parts of the park. But the lake is only there because the plant is there, and the utility company donated the land for the park. So, what are you going to do?

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