Directions - From the Show Low intersection of Deuce of Clubs and White Mountain Road, head south on 260 for eleven miles to Pinetop. You'll turn right on Woodland Lake Road. Follow this road to the park's first entrance on the right. Drive to the end and park by the boat dock.
About the Hike - This is a two-mile loop trail through the Ponderosa Pine Forest in the cooler summer temperatures of the White Mountains of Arizona. The elevation gain of this trail is 223 feet and rated as easy.
The trail starts directly across from the Lake's boat dock.
Look for the trail sign marking the beginning of the trail.
Follow the trail as it winds through the Ponderosa Pines towards the meadows where you'll catch glimpses of flowers sprinkled about the grassy field.
In about a quarter of a mile, you will come across a crossing in the trail. Taking a left onto the path crossing the main trail will take you into the Turkey Trail loop.
The trail winds down towards a creek. Make sure that you have taken bear spray with you when hiking. This area of the path is full of lush greenery and the perfect shady spot for all kinds of wildlife to get out of the heat, including the black bear that is common to this area.
The path twists through the pines to the creek below.
There were a lot of mosquitoes swimming at the top of the water. I'm not sure they were mosquitoes, but make sure you take bug spray with you too.
The trail runs along the creek offering beautiful scenery and cooler weather from the hot temperatures of the Valley of the Sun. You will find beautiful flowers sprinkled along the trail.
The wild roses were blooming, and the bushes were full of ripe berries, which again got me thinking about those black bears.
I stopped at this particular spot along the trail, taking in its beauty.
You'll come to a wooden bridge that crosses the creek. Instead of going across the bridge, follow the path right upward back into the Forest.
The trail goes upward towards houses along Woodland Lake road.
For the next half mile, the trail completely shaded from the Ponderosa Pine's canopy.
I hiked along this trail the first week of August on a Friday, seeing five other hikers. It's not a very busy trail, which I have to wonder why because it was well maintained and beautiful.