Eagle Mountain Lake Park is a 400-acre park on the east side of Eagle Mountain Lake. Within the park, a system of trails weave up and down the small hills and along the shoreline of Eagle Mountain Lake. Many scenic overlooks of the lake are available on the trail. A map of the trail system is available at http://www.trwd.com/docs/eaglemountainlake/EM-Trail-Map.pdf. Maps are also located throughout the park.
Although the early morning was chilly, by the time Donna, Larry, Nancy, and I hit the trail at 11:00 AM the day was beginning to warm. It would eventually rise to the mid-60s. At the trail head, there is a covered pavilion with picnic tables, restrooms, and various informational signs.
|Some of the facilities at the trail head|
The initial section of the trail is composed of crushed stone and is lined by rocks to make a very attractive trail. However, this soon gives way to a dirt trail.
|Initial section of trail near trail head|
|View of Eagle Mountain Lake from scenic overlook on Overlook Trail (see map)|
|Maps like this are located at all major trail junctions. This is a nice park, and the trails are well done.|
|Island in lake. Island is there even when lake is full.|
Once past the scenic overlook, the trail becomes the Shoreline Trail. Initially, it twists its way down from the hill we were on until we were near the shoreline. Most of the park is tree-covered, so hiking in summer will allow numerous shaded stretches of trail. But since much of the trail is dual track, much of the trail is exposed to the sun.
|Donna near open area along Shoreline Trail. Mileage stone does not accurately reflect our distance at that point.|
|Shoreline of Eagle Mountain Lake, taken from Shoreline Trail|
After hiking more than 3 miles, we found a bench located just up from a point on the shoreline and had lunch and enjoyed the peace and quiet. A couple of boats raced by on the lake and a few birds worked the shoreline. Otherwise, it was nice and quiet. However, in the shade it soon grew just a bit cool, so 20 minutes later, we were up and walking again.
We finished the Shoreline Trail and found ourselves back on the Main Park Trail as we returned to the trail head.
|An "up and down" section of the trail. Notice that Donna is not visible in the picture; she is hidden at the bottom of the slope. These "ups and downs" are the most challenging sections of the trail; thankfully, they are moderate and few.|
Larry wanted to do more hiking, so he led our angry mob along the Northwest Trail. This is a 2.72 section of trail (round trip) that covers the northwestern part of the park.
|Bridge on Northwest Trail|
|Covered picnic table at rest area on Northwest Trail|
|Rest room facilities at rest area on Northwest Trail|
|Larry and Donna on rock outcropping overlooking Eagle Mountain Lake. Directly above Donna's head and across the water is the point where we stopped for lunch earlier in the day.|
There were lots and lots of people on the trail today. When a beautiful warm and sunny day comes around in January, people get out and take advantage of it. We saw many families, including one father diligently pushing a baby stroller along the dirt trails. I would conservatively estimate we encountered at least 35 or more people out on the trails, but most were within a mile or so of the trail head. Once we got deeper into the system, such as the Shoreline Trail and the South Overlook Trail, we were virtually alone.
Larry and Nancy are good trail companions. This is the second hike we've enjoyed with them; the first was almost a year ago at Cleburne State Park just outside of nearby Cleburne, Texas.
Were I to hike this trail again, I would probably pick a weekday to avoid the crowds. Regardless, it is a good hike.