Lake Lurleen has a large network of trails available to the visitor. The trails are well maintained by volunteers and park staff. In total there are more than 23 miles of multi-use trails. Hikers and bikers alike share these paths which meander throughout the park. The network of trails circles the lake and transverse the roll hills of the upper section of the park.
Today we explored the Ridge Loop trail, a 4 mile trail located in the upper section of the park. The trail takes hikers through a mostly hardwood forest with patched of pines. During the spring and summer months, a variety of flowering plant species can be seen along the trail. During the fall and winter, the forest opens up for a view of the rolling landscape and spotted evergreen trees.
The North Trailhead, which is located at the start of the Ridge Loop trail, is located inside the campground area and is off limits to day use patrons. Therefore, we began the hike by accessing the trail from a side trail located adjacent to the children playground. The parking is marked trail parking, but the path up the hill is not marked and is the steepest climb of the hike.
Once on the trail, the inclines are subtle and a relatively easy hike. The path is well marked every ½ mile with orange reflectors and barricades at points where old large park use roads cross. The surface varies from sand to cobble size stones. During the fall and winter, much of the trail is covered in large leaves and some pine straw.
Overall the trail is great hike or bike ride for the entire family. Hiking time was roughly 2 hours with a great number of stops for photos. Lake Lurleen State Park is diffidently a stop you do not want to miss.
The state park is located 13.4 miles from I-20/59. Take US-43 4.9 miles, turn left on US-82. Travel 5.1 miles on US-82, take a slight right on Upper Columbus Road, then turn right on Lake Lureen Road. The park is 1.3 miles.