Lake Leatherwood in Eureka Springs, Arkansas is a beautiful city park with more to offer than some state parks we’ve visited. The 1610 acres are centered around a lake with it’s own campground, playground, hiking and mountain biking trails, swim beach, marina and docks for canoeists and kayakers. Several people were out relaxing, hiking, paddling and fishing on the Saturday afternoon when we visited.
We recently camped at the Eureka Springs KOA, minutes away from Lake Leatherwood. After lunch, we visited the park to hike and enjoy the playground. I’d been to Lake Leatherwood before in the off-season, but remembered it as more of a run down looking abandoned summer camp.
The park campground is spread out along one side of the lake and includes tent sites, rv sites (electric only), and cabins varying in size and price. The cabins looked older, but all were full the weekend we visited. Reservations can be made though Reserve America.
They have recently put a significant amount of money into developing an accessible, large playground that makes the park look far more updated. The playground included two person parent / child swings, which Maddie loved, an elaborate and huge play set with layers of climbing obstacles and slides, and a swinging raft to compliment the lake theme of the area.
The vibe of the place is that of a 1960s summer camp. It’s a swimming, fishing, paddling smaller lake, with a large dam at one end, and trails running all around the lake and accompanying woods. The bait shop / marina rents canoes, kayaks, paddle boats, and row boats.
We hiked the trail from the playground to the dam and back, which was maybe a mile and a half each way. It included several shallow creek crossings, which the kids loved to stop and play in, and wound around the side of the lake with little elevation change and nice views throughout.
I’m happy we didn’t encounter any mountain bikers with our little ones, as shared trails like that can stress me out if people on bikes are whizzing by. The park includes 25 miles of trails, some being far more challenging, and I’d love to go back another time and try something longer.
If the campsites had water hookups, we would consider staying here for a future trip to Eureka Springs. I’d love to return and swim, paddle, and hike more at this beautiful park in Northern Arkansas.