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Lake Leatherwood 1,600 acres of historic city park

Friday, November 2, 2007

Welcome to Lake Leatherwood. This historic 1600-acre city park is a pristine example of Ozark Mountain countryside. Hardwood forests cover steep hills divided by a narrow 85-acre lake that is continuously recharged by cold spring water. At the north end of Lake Leatherwood, a hand-cut limestone dam spills millions of gallons of water into a pool far below where white water curls in eddies beside the red rocks of Iron Spring to form a creek that flows across boulders and rocks on its downhill course through the lower valley. The cut limestone-faced dam, one of America's largest, was built in the 1940s by the Civilian Conservation Corps. Both the dam and the park are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. On the west side of Lake Leatherwood, the land rises past a small marina to broad level land that provides room for picnic areas, a barbecue shelter house, a playground, volleyball, and a WPA-era bathhouse. The hiking and mountain biking trail begins and ends here. Treat yourself right. Spend a day enjoying one of America's largest city parks. Lake Leatherwood gives you a lot to choose from.

LAKE LEATHERWOOD TRAILS

Beacham Trail

4-mile loop, 2 hours

Beacham Trail circles the lake, passing Leatherwood Dam, the dam quarry and other interesting destinations. Although this trail traverses few extended hills, the varied terrain makes it especially challenging for bicyclists. It begins at either Beacham Trail Head or Meadow Trail Head.

Leatherwood Trail

1mile, 30 minutes

Leatherwood Trail connects the main park facility with Leatherwood Fields, Eureka Springs' Municipal Ball Park. It is predominantly flat and perfect for the light hiker, runner or beginning cyclist. The trail can be accessed from the Meadow Trail Head or the Leatherwood Fields Trail Head.

Fuller Trail

2 miles, 1 hour

Fuller Trail follows the shoreline of the lake from near the boat ramp to Leatherwood Dam. A short spur leads to ThePoint, a great picnic spot with a view of the dam. This trail is mostly flat, but has a few tricky rocky areas and stream crossings. Fishing Trail provides lake side fishing from rock ledges and bluffs. Please pack out trash.

Miner's Rock Trail

3 miles, 1.5 hours

Once up the long, steep hill, several miles of mildly graded trail meander along benches beneath beautiful rocky bluffs. This trail is a favorite of local mountain bikers, and leads to Miner's Rock, a unique geological formation. You can use the Park road to make a loop.

Twin Knobs Trail

3 miles,1.5 hours

By far the most physically challenging trail in the park, this trail climbs over 300 vertical feet. It can be accessed from either Leatherwood or Hyde Hollow trails. Views from the "knobs" are great during the winter and early spring. This trail shares routing along the Bench Loop Trail. Use Hyde Hollow and Beacham Trails to create a loop.

Bench Loop Trail

3-mile loop, 2 hours

Bench Loop Trail is located on the same mountain as Twin Knobs Trail. It is comprised of two benches at different elevations that are connected by short grades.

Hyde Hollow Trail

2 miles, 1 hour

This route crosses a tributary creek six times. Lush groundcover and seasonal springs are the highlights of this trail.Slick creek rocks make the trail challenging any time water is present, and during high water, the route can be impassable. The trail can be accessed from Beacham Trail. It is also an access to Twin Knobs Trail.

Mulladay Hollow Trail

1mile, 30 minutes

This trail is completely flat, allowing an easy stroll or spin. The route passes two springs and several Civilian Conservation Corps stone structures. It is a favorite trail for viewing wildlife and enjoying seasonal flowering plants and trees. RIDGETRAILS Blue DisksThese trails follow mountain ridges, are hilly, and take you to the parks extremeties.

Overlook Trail

2.5-mile loop, 1.5 hour

This trail leads to a bluff overlooking Leatherwood Dam. The dam is highly visible only when the leaves have fallen.There is a long climb either way to the dam overlook. Moss-covered bluffs line the ridge. This is a nice loop when combined with Beacham and Mulladay Hollow Trail.

LAKE LEATHERWOOD TRAIL RULES

No motorized vehicles or pack stock are allowed on any trail.

No glass containers are allowed.

All dogs must be on a leash at all times.

No fires are permitted along the trails.

Leave all natural and manmade objects where they lie.

Pack it in, Pack it out - "Leave No Trace!"

Biking Lake Leatherwood

Lake Leatherwood trails offer many opportunities for all levels of cyclists, from flat and easy to mountainous and difficult.The following are the rules of conduct established by the International Mountain Bikers Association.

Ride on open trails only.

Some trails dead end into or lead to private property. Stay on the marked trails.

Leave no trace.

Practice low impact cycling. Avoid trail use when extremely wet. Pack it in, pack it out.

Control your bike.

Inattention, for even a second, can cause problems for you or another user. Be smart and alert.

Yield the trail.

Don't startle others. Let them know you are approaching. Pass safely and be prepared to stop, if necessary.

Never scare animals.

The park is full of deer and other wildlife. Give animals extra room and time to adjust to you. Keep your head up.

Plan ahead.

Know your equipment, your ability, and the area in which you are riding. Prepare accordingly. Always wear a helmet. Have fun and be safe!



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