“A beautiful park in the northern Arkansas with tough climbs, fast-flow and a few tech sections.
— Tom Robson
Motorized vehicles and pack stock are not allowed on any trail, and dogs must be kept on leashes at all times.
Over 25 miles of multi-use trails at Lake Leatherwood City Park are designed as low-impact, singletrack nature trails for foot and bike traffic. Many rocky ledges, steep slopes, extended grades, creek crossings and varied terrain make most trails challenging for both foot and bike traffic. The trails have been marked with two colors to help with orientation.
Need to Know
Camping and riding from the campsite is one of the best parts of this trail system. The campground is right in the heart of the park, so you can ride, refresh, and ride some more. Showers are available at the bath house near the marina and camping areas. Small boats can be rented for fishing and exploring.
Eureka Springs is only a few miles away so you can drive into town to grab a bite and a beer as well. It's a cute little town.
Starting from Mulladay Hollow TH, head south onto Beacham Trail
, then a quick right onto Leatherwood Trail
. After rolling along Leatherwood Creek for a little ways, turn left onto Twin Knobs Trail
. By far the most physically challenging trail in the park, Twin Knobs Trail
climbs over 300 vertical feet. But you'll just climb to Bench Loop Trail
Bench Loop Trail
is located on the same mountain as Twin Knobs Trail
. It is comprised of two benches at different elevations that are connected by short grades. The trail passes several rock outcroppings and bluffs.
Alternate between Twin Knobs Trail
and Bench Loop Trail
, ascending the mountain until you reach Lost Ridge Trail
. One of the newest trails in the park, Lost Ridge Trail
traverses a bench littered with interesting bluffs including a Pivot Rock formation. If approached from Hyde Hollow the trail climbs 10 switchbacks and 300 feet in elevation.
From Lost Ridge Trail
, turn left onto Hyde Hollow Trail
. This route crosses a tributary creek six times. Lush groundcover and seasonal springs are the highlights of this trail. Slick creek rocks make the trail challenging anytime water is present, and during high water, the route can be impassable.
At the bottom of Hyde Hollow Trail
turn right onto Beacham Trail
. Beacham Trail
circles the lake, passing Leatherwood Dam, the dam quarry and other interesting destinations. Although this trail traverses few extended hills, the varied terrain makes it especially challenging for bicyclists.
Bypass Fuller Trail
and Fuller Point Spur
to a right turn onto Overlook Trail
. The trail climbs steeply to the dam overlook and moss-covered bluffs line the ridge as you go. From the trail's terminus, descend Mulladay Hollow Trail
to Mulladay Hollow Bridge. Turn right onto the road for a short amount of time and then make a quick right onto Miner's Rock Trail
Miner's Rock Trail
leads riders up a long, steep hill on several miles of mildly graded trail that meanders along benches beneath beautiful rocky bluffs. This trail is a favorite of local mountain bikers and leads to Miner's Rock, a unique geological formation. Before the trail winds right back up the hill, drop in on Miner's Rock Connector
, almost to the road. From the bottom of Miner's Rock Connector
, wind back up Miner's Rock Trail
and finish its loop.
From here on out just retrace your steps on Miner's Rock Trail
until Mulladay Hollow Bridge. Instead of turning left, which is the way you came from, turn right to descend on Mulladay Hollow Trail
and back to the trailhead.
History & Background
At 1620 acres, Lake Leatherwood City Park (LLCP) is one of the largest municipally owned parks in the nation. It was built in the late 1930s as part of the Civilian Conservation Corp(CCC) projects. One of the nations largest hand-cut limestone dams impounds the 80-acre Lake Leatherwood. West Leatherwood Creek and Lake Leatherwood bisect the park north to south. The undeveloped portions of the park are typical Ozark Highland forest consisting of mixed hardwoods and pine. There are many beautiful Ozark vistas, bluffs and rock formations. Left over from the CCC is a cooking pavilion, diving platform and a bathhouse. More recent additions are a small bait shop, a marina, 6 rental cabins, 5 RV sites and 20 camping areas. There are also approximately 25 miles of hiking and biking trails. At the south end of the park, by the entrance, is the Leatherwood Fields Municipal Ball Park. The Fields consist of one lighted full-size baseball field and one lighted full-size soccer field.