Bark Camp Lake Loop Trail
Highlights: lake views, waterfowl, rare plants
Length: 3.7 miles round trip
Difficulty: easy to moderate
Camping Reservations: Call (276) 679-8370
Trailhead: The trailhead is gated in the winter (mid Oct. — April 1). During the summer, a parking fee apples. From Dungannon, follow Route 72 for 0.4 miles, then turn left onto Route 653 (next to old Osborne store). After 1.7 miles, turn right onto Route 706 and follow for 2.7 miles, winding up onto the mountain. Take a sharp right onto Route 822. You will need to take a couple of lefts to stay on Route 822, following the road for 3.3 miles. Turn left into Back Camp Lake and travel 0.9 miles to the parking area.
Facilities: campground, restrooms, drinking water, boat launch (no electric motors), picnic areas, 45-acre lake, outdoor stage.
This tranquil lakeside trail winds through cove woods, wetlands and hemlock forests. Nearly level terrain makes for an easy walk with plenty of opportunities to see kingfishers, herons and other lake wildlife.
From the parking area, head down to the boat ramp to pick up the trail as it crosses the dam and then enters the woods. The rare Climbing Fern can be found in wet areas on the south side of the lake, along with a profusion of spring wildflowers.
As you near the shallower, west end of the lake, keep your eyes peeled for signs of active beavers. Partially gnawed trees are abundant and lodges may be evident. A boardwalk now crosses what was once an impassible swamp, allowing the trail to look back up the south side of the lake to the parking area.
Bark Camp Lake was built in the 1950s and stocked with largemouth bass, several sunfish species, channel catfish and trout. Don’t forget to bring your fishing rod!
The Department of Inland Game and Fisheries (DGIF) regularly stocks Bark Camp with brown trout. Check the DGIF website for the stock schedule.