“This lakeside trail circles Arch Lake and provides many bluff top overlooks for beautiful lake views
— Charles Pulse
Lake · River/Creek · Views
The Lake Trail in Pickett State Park, like most of the other trails at Pickett, was created during the Great Depression by the Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC). The Lake Trail can be located by heading out on the Lake View Trail
to the intersection of the two trails. Take the Lake View Trail
by finding its trailhead right off of the southwest corner of the parking lot for the park's campground/picnic area. Signs clearly mark the trailhead.
Run .6 miles on the Lake View Trail
to the Lake Trail intersection which heads off to the left. From that point the Lake Trail winds its way onto a bluff overlooking Arch Lake. It then follows the bluff along one side of the lake where it provides many nice views of the lake and much of the park's facilities. The trail then meanders back through a hardwood and pine forest sprinkled with rhododendron to the end of Arch Lake. There it crosses Thomson Creek at the north end of the lake and continues back to the parking lot area. The route is peaceful and provides a great environment for communing with the beautiful surroundings. Several shelters were built by the CCC to provide places for rest and contemplation along the way.
An alternate approach to the Lake Trail is to cross the Swinging Bridge across Arch Lake. The Swinging Bridge is the other end of the Lake View Trail
, a loop trail. The Swinging Bridge is an obvious feature of the lake and can be seen from the parking lot for the park's campground/picnic area. The Lake Trail intersection can be found immediately after crossing the bridge and will head off to the right.
The Lake Trail can also be a part of a longer route. This loop combines the Lake Trail, the Hazard Cave Trail
, the Natural Bridge Trail
and the Lake View Trail
. All four trails are attached via intersections or short connector trails. By combining the four trails, a total distance of about 5 miles is created. This combined loop wanders by a variety of sights, including a natural bridge, beautiful Hazard Cave, many marvelous limestone wall formations, creeks, canyons, and finally Arch Lake.