Fri, March 7, 2014 • Partly Cloudy, and 52 ° F.
Bark Camp Lake Loop Trail
Highlights: lake views, water-loving wildlife, rare plants
Length: 3.7 miles (round trip)
Difficulty: easy to moderate
Trailhead: The trailhead is gated in the winter (from mid Oct. - April 1.) During the summer, a parking fee applies. From Dungannon, follow Rte 72 north for 0.4 miles, then turn left onto Rte 653. After 1.7 miles on Rte 653, turn right onto Rte 706. Follow Rte 706 for 2.7 miles, winding up onto the mountain, then take a sharp right onto Rte 822. You will need to take a couple of lefts to stay on Rte 822, following the road for 3.3 miles. Then turn left into the Bark Camp Lake entrance and travel 0.9 miles to the parking area.
Facilities: campground, restrooms, drinking water, boat launch, picnic areas, 45 acre lake
View a larger version of the trail map (1 MB, jpg).
This tranquil lakeside trail winds through cove woods, wetlands, and hemlock forests. Nearly level terrain makes for an easy walk with plenty of opportunities to see kingfishers, herons, and other lake wildlife.
From the parking area, head down to the boat ramp to pick up the trail as it crosses the dam and then enters the woods. The rare Climbing Fern can be found in wet areas on the south side of the lake, along with a profusion of spring wildflowers.
As you near the shallower, west end of the lake, keep your eyes peeled for beaver signs. Partially gnawed trees are abundant, and lodges may be evident. A new boardwalk crosses what was once an impassible swamp, allowing the trail to loop back up the south side of the lake to the parking area.
Bark Camp Lake was built in 1950s and stocked with largemouth bass, black crappie, several sunfish species, channel catfish, and trout. Don't forget your fishing rod!