This is a very unique little lake in a large "city park". Lake Leatherwood is in the 1600 acre Lake Leatherwood Park in Eureka Springs AR located a few miles west of the town in the Ozark Mountains of NW Arkansas. It was created by the CCC during the great depression and the hand laid limestone dam is a historic treasure.
There is a hiking trail that circles the lake (about 4 miles). The lake is small (you can explore all of it in an afternoon) and sheltered, great for beginners or kids, and you will probably be the only one on it. One end is shallow with lily pads and moss and usually has water fowl on it. You may see deer, squirrels, beavers and birds. The other end is deep and open and the water is clear. Fishing should be good as hardly anyone uses it.
There is a small primitive campground and a launch ramp, the park office is on the lake. I think they may rent canoes. The park is large, more like a state or national park, with miles of hiking/biking trails with maps are available.
There are many other good paddling areas nearby most notably the Kings River similar to the Buffalo National River but smaller and less used as well as the White River which is large and cold (fed by Beaver Lake Dam)with world class trout fishing. The whole area is a great destination most of which has light use in the summer time and very light to no use out spring fall and winter.
There is a small primitive camp ground on the lake and numerous developed Corps of Engineers camp grounds on the large (27 miles long) Beaver Lake nearby. Beaver is also a great destination it's self but that is another story. Eureka Springs is a unique Victorian tourist town of 2000 that is must see if you are in the area, historic hotels homes and spas and many quaint B&Bs with several good restaurants and cheap motels ($39.00 for 2) in the non-historic part of town on the commercial "strip" along highway 62.
The Park is free there is a small launching fee for fishing boats; I don't think they charge paddlers.
From Rogers in the far NW corner of the state go east on Highway 62 about 30 miles. Look for the sign on your left a few miles before town. The last 15 miles or so is very scenic and twisty.
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