We need to get in a few practice hikes in before we get into the State Park schedule. Visiting all 52 Arkansas State parks seems like it could be a grueling task in a year! So we need to stretch our legs and get some exercise, but also learn some basics.
We spent the last couple of weeks doing local trails to get in the rhythm. It's been great for getting Hux and I ready physically, but I also wanted to work with him on hiking basics. Teaching him to train his eyes to the ground to watch for trip hazards, but also move his eyes out further to observe nature. We worked on hiking basics like "pack it in, pack it out" and what do do when we encounter other hikers like "yield" and "stay right". We also learned about taking a backpack and the essentials of food and water, and wearing the proper clothing. We did Vian Lake in Oklahoma one Saturday and Lincoln Lake in Arkansas on another Saturday.
I was born and raised in Lincoln, attended K-12 there, and spent a lot of free time at Lincoln Lake. It is truly one of the most under-rated hidden gems in the state of Arkansas and only a few minutes from our house. The park has been greatly improved over the last decade.
It was the City of Lincoln's former water supply and includes 90 acres of water and more than 300 acres of woods. They have done a GREAT job utilizing this property for the community. It has been transformed into an outdoor oasis that boasts great hiking and mountain biking trails, along with one of the top ten rock climbing destinations in Arkansas!
Lincoln lake is also home to some great fishing, canoeing, and kayaking. In high school we spent a lot of weekends top rope climbing some awesome routes with even better views! It's not uncommon to see an eagle in the late fall and winter.
You can get pretty good mileage in with a 4.25 acre loop going all the way around the lake or just over 7 total miles if you include all of the loops. We just did from the parking area to the dam along the west side of the lake. The weather was warm (67 degrees and sunny!), but the ground was saturated after a wet year. The east side of the lake is lower in elevation and can include some small wet weather stream and spring crossings.
Huxley was really excited about this one because we had a couple of super stars join us at Lincoln Lake! Grandma (Nauni) and Buddy got out to enjoy the weather and get some exercise too!