Posted by Jessie K / Friday, August 30, 2013 / 2 Comments / Arkansas , Camping , Eureka Springs , Hiking , Kid Friendly , My Favorites , Northwest Arkansas , Things to Do , Waterfalls
Camping at Lake Leatherwood in Eureka Springs, AR
Lake Leatherwood in Eureka Springs has quickly become one of my favorite lakes and recreation areas. It's just simply a gorgeous area for great outdoor recreation such as camping, fishing, canoeing, kayaking, hiking and biking trails, soccer and baseball fields, etc.It's other draw is that it is a very quiet park. Fun fact: It is the 2nd largest city park in the country (the first is New York's Central Park). One employee told me that the park's vast 1600 acres are very underutilized, which is unfortunate, but secretly I am a bit glad for it. It's like a hidden gem. Each time we've visited, it's almost felt like we had the whole park to ourselves which has been really nice, but I really do wish more people would venture here and make great use of this amazing area.
-Official website HERE, including rental fee information.
-"No wake" lake
-Address: 1303 County Road 204, Eureka Springs, AR 72632
-Phone Number: 479-253-7921
Sunrises in the field were dreamy!
Though we were camping in August, our mornings were pleasantly cool enough to need a small fire.
We enjoyed paddle boating and canoeing during the day.
Me and my Mr. enjoying some lazy midday canoeing.
This lake is truly gorgeous!
We canoed about a mile out to the dam and got out to explore. You can cross the dam on foot or bike and see an amazing view of the lake! A trail on the other side will take you down to the dam falls. Whether you canoe here like we did, or hike Beacham Trail to get here, the Lake Leatherwood Dam is a must see in my opinion! You can see more of our excursion to the dam HERE!
We also enjoyed some hiking. We did the lovely but fairly simple Lake Leatherwood Trail with the kids.
And my sister-in-law attempted the more difficult and longer "Beacham Trail" without most of the kids. I was carrying my sleeping 2 year old in the carry pack and after having done Lake Leatherwood trail, I was only able to manage to do half of the long Beacham Trail. I hike while carrying my son all the time, but hiking while carrying a 25 lb toddler on your back for 4 hours in the middle of August is NOT something I recommend!
We also made great use of our camps big surrounding field.
Yep, that's me!
Although the picture doesn't really show it well here, but our camp was wonderfully
lit up with the Christmas lights we strung up around the main area.
And of course we enjoyed roasting marshmallows over the fire.
The showering facilities were adequately maintained and well lit. I am usually so leery of camping site bathrooms and showers, but these facilities didn't "creep me out" at all. There are separate facilities for men and women.
This is the park's main office and bait shop. You can rent paddle boats, kayaks, canoes, fishing poles, and camp sites, and cabins here. You can also conveniently buy bagged ice here as well as some of your main necessities should you need soap, toothpaste, bottled water, snacks, etc. The parks office employee's are often out maintaining the park, so it can sometimes be difficult to catch them in the office.
The only negative thing I can say about the park was that the swimming area was not swimmable at all. I think it was because of the flooding that happened just weeks before. This would have been a real bummer, except that just a few miles from Lake Leatherwood is Beaver Lake Dam which has a great swimming area and park. We definitely took advantage of this being that it was the middle of August. On the way out we stopped at a great lookout point to take in the sunset.
More pics from our trip