The Tar River Trail located less than an hour south of the lake in Rocky Mount offers a 3 mile paved pathway along the Tar River with picturesque views of the river & falls along the way. It's relatively flat, wide and an easy walk. We like to park at the Rocky Mount Mills or Battle Park (located about the halfway point) and then walk East and/or West from there, making the it a ~5 mile walk along the river. Visiting the mills after is a nice bonus!
Rocky Mount Mills: https://goo.gl/maps/agxVpU1A5hu5Na8QA