Cove Lake Trail is a 10.4 mile lightly trafficked point-to-point trail located near Blue Mountain, Arkansas that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 10.4 miles Elevation Gain: 633 feet Route Type: Point to Point

dogs on leash

backpacking

camping

fishing

hiking

running

forest

lake

river

views

waterfall

rocky

Starting in the Cameron Bluff Campground, this trail descends over 1,500 feet to Cove Lake. Most of the trail is in the Ozark National Forest with only half of a mile in the state park boundaries. It can be hiked in a full day but is best enjoyed at a slower pace and offers some of the best hiking in Arkansas for beginning backpackers. Overnight camping is allowed in the national forest. Explore stands of virgin hardwoods. Watch for white-tailed deer and turkey. Hunting is allowed in the national forest so be aware of the seasons and wear bright colored clothing. Additional trails circle the lake, and the Forest Service Recreation Area at Cove Lake has camping, picnicking, and swimming. (White Diamond Blazes)

hiking
blowdown
muddy
over grown
1 month ago

This is a point to point trail and some of it is very overgrown. Lots of trees down, I think due to recent rain and high winds. Not quite the views as many other trails in Arkansas, but a good workout with a few views.

hiking
bridge out
muddy
off trail
over grown
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

12.1 total miles very rough trail! Not good for kiddos! I’d say this is a hard trail! Not so much of a beginner trail!

hiking
bridge out
4 months ago

February 1st and 2nd. troop 903 hiked from the mount magazine to camp at 4.7 miles just across the creek crossing (bridge is out). Then hiked out to the lake. plenty of water sources, tough to find the trail in a couple of places like near the private property and then a short walk up a gravel road. nothing our boys couldn't figure out.

running
4 months ago

Excellent trail! Lots of fun along the way to the top of Magazine and back down! Trekking poles definitely came in handy, as usual. I would definitely recommend this trail vs any other Magazine related trail!

hiking
10 months ago

Lucked out with light rain and an unseasonably cool August day for this 20 mile RT hike. However, it's a very lightly used trail as evidenced this day by never ending spider webs. Wildlife was a highlight, including lots of deer, a few turtles, an armadillo and a very active river otter. 2 star rating reflects the spider misery I experienced, which was bad enough that I chose to run/walk Hwy 309 back to the trailhead after reaching Signal Hill. Otherwise a good trail, fairly well marked and only a few over grown sections.

backpacking
bridge out
muddy
over grown
Sun Apr 28 2019

Just backpacked this yesterday. Great trail for beginner backpackers. If your really out of shape it’s pretty difficult getting back up the mountain. Totally doable if you can get a ride back to your car at the bottom of the trail. There is a creek crossing that’s more like a river right now that is supposed to have a bridge but it must have flash flooded and washed away the bridge because we had to wade across the water. There is an awesome camp site right at about mile 5 by the creek, once you cross it and go up the trail and up the hill a little it’s a very nice spot with pine trees and it’s open and has a good sound of the river while sleeping! We did have some ticks so be aware of that and don’t set up right next to the creek if it’s going to rain.

hiking
Sat Apr 20 2019

My daughter 45 years old and myself 65 years old hiked this as a overnight backpack trip. We left a car at each end of the trail. We started at the Cameron Bluff Campground as suggested to keep from hiking up a long hill on our final day when we would be tired. Maybe 3 miles in, we had to cross a creek and went upstream to rock hop across. I managed with hiking poles but my daughter had to use water shoes and walk across. At mile marker 5 (yes there is a actual marker) we were at a nice creek that was flowing loudly and decided to make camp. There was one fire ring almost in the creek with a lot of weeds around it and looked like it had not been used in a while. We did not make a fire. We pitched a one man tent and a hammock tent a little further from the creek. The ground was soft, not rocky. It was easy to move a few pine cones and brush for a tent spot. We heard a few mice during the night but had no damage. Listened to lots of birds in the morning. We were glad we camped there because as we continued our journey the next day towards Cove lake, we never saw another place to camp that was as nice. We saw a couple of fire rings but not near any water. We had 3 more very small creek crossings that were easy to hop across. As we got closer to Cove lake there was also a lot of burned areas and not as pretty as the previous landscape. The trail was muddy in quite a few places. Overall, it was a very easy hike except for the weight of our packs. We could have completed this in a day with lighter packs. We saw lots of Dogwood trees blooming as well as Redbuds. We got a few ticks and a few chiggers but did not have to fight mosquitoes. We had no trouble staying on trail. Nicely marked. I did use my AllTrails Pro as a back up plan. Very nice.

hiking
Tue Jan 01 2019

attempted the full hike yesterday(12/30) and was a little disappointed. trail marking in some places were scarce and because of the time of year the trail would kind of "run out" in some places leaving you wondering if you were on the trail anymore or not. at one point around mile 5-5.5 there was what looked to supposedly be a bridge for a water crossing that was missing so I had to wade through the water (roughly 10 feet across). and then around mile 6.25 the trail ended on a road with no indication of how to finish the hike so I had to turn back prematurely. Decent hike but I'd be okay not doing it again.

hiking
Sun Dec 30 2018

Nice hike with some length. Had a nice wet weather waterfall. Several creek crossings, some were dicey because water was up. A few views but mostly a simple walk through the woods.

hiking
Wed Aug 08 2018

By far my favorite state park and mountain. This is a beautiful hike with amazing views and plenty of wildlife to see. I suggest taking plenty of water and protein snacks if you plan to complete the entire 18 miles. Some may find areas a bit strenuous but over all a easy day long hike. Enjoy

Thu Jul 05 2018

A keeper, but with caveats. First, I suggest reversing the trail, starting at Cove Lake. (The trailhead is almost directly across from the Cove Lake entrance. If you do not want to pay the $5 fee for parking at the lake, there is room for two cars to park next to the trailhead.) Reasons to reverse the trail: its becomes up-down and you end up at the lake. The trail is 12+ miles one way. (I hiked only 4+ miles in.) Not a spectacular trail (at least the first 4 miles), but enjoyable.

Mon Jun 04 2018

I guess you would consider the swimming area pretty big. If you’re a flea. The place was full of weird rednecks that were running around stealing things and a Sad&Angsty™️ worker that even helped one couple. RIP my donut raft (2018-2018). Gone but never forgotten.

backpacking
Sat Apr 21 2018

backpacking
Fri Apr 20 2018

Wed Mar 15 2017

Nice but not very scenic.

backpacking
Sun Oct 23 2016

Very nice trail. Well blazed and cleared nicely. Camped between the 5 and 6 mile marker. Very good spot. A hike that can be done in a day, or take your time and do an overnighter like I did.

camping
Tue Sep 13 2016

Nice trail. Best spot to camp, if hiking from top to bottom, is about .6 miles from second parking area. Great view of the stars, nice fire ring, and great flat spots near the edge for your tent/hammock. Be diligent with your bug spray and try to go before/after tick season.

hiking
Tue Aug 02 2016

This is a nice trail, not too difficult. Views of the lake while hiking in and around the water.

Sun Apr 22 2012

My hiking partner and I started on the opposite side of the campsites with our dogs and set out around Cove Lake. We took the trail up the hill to the overlook, and let me tell you, it was a bit of a push, even for her. The overlook was a bit of a letdown, not much of a payoff, so we looped back down, took a break, and headed down the bathouse trail. Scenary was great, and the old style bridges really added a nice touch. Trail is well maintained, well marked, and easy to follow. Alot of ticks and bugs, so definately bring the deet. The trail completely encircled the lake, so word to the State of Arkansas: if you really are serious about ensuring people pay to get into certain areas of your parks, don't build hiking trails that people can walk into said areas for free on. Just saying. Other than the overlook climb, this wasn't a strenuous trail, and the scenary was well worth the trek. Cove Lake is a beautiful area, and I would definately recommend this trail for any hiking level.

backpacking
11 days ago

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