Trail: Lincoln Lake, Lincoln Lake City Park, AR
Distance: 4 miles
Submission: DeWayne Reeves
Duration: 1 day
Rating: 4/5 stars
This is a great 4-mile loop around a lake, with several overlooks and interesting rock formations often frequented by climbers. The trail is rocky but has minimum elevation change. Several viewpoints above the lake provide the perfect spot for a hammock, perched 70 feet above the water; eagles are occasionally spotted around the cliffs. Between the viewpoints the trail wanders through pine and oak trees that seem to touch the sun, bright green foliage, and colorful wildflowers. Between the trees are the cliffs, carved by wind and water into overhangs and curling tunnels that even non-climbers can explore.
At mile 2 there is an occasionally challenging water crossing. At low water you can stay dry by hopping across a series of rocks, but at higher flows you’ll have to wade. The water never goes higher than mid-calf, but a trekking pole is still helpful. Just before mile 3 you come to the dam creating the lake. The hike crosses the dam to the opposite bank, usually with a blast of wind as you exit the trees. When you stand in the middle of the dam and just look out over the lake you can just how far you’ve hiked, and the cliffs that you hiked past dropping straight into the lake. Once across the dam, you enter the forest again with one mile to go. There are plenty of spur trails along this section to explore, heading down to the shore and into copses of trees perfect for hammocking.