Southern Region Viewing Area
LOCATION and PHOTOS
Lake Wedington Trail
Forest: Ozark-St. Francis National Forest
District: Wedington Unit - Boston Mountain Ranger District
Description: Hidden in the foliage of the Ozark Mountains, the Lakehore Trail provides an excellent opportunity to view spring wildflowers. The Lake Wedington Recreation Area gives local residents a chance to swim, camp, canoe or paddle boat, fish, and hike. The trail runs along the south edge of Lake Wedington away from the road, campground, swimming area, and other facilities lining the north shore. Park at the trail's northeastern end and walk the bridge across the west flowing streams that feed the lake. Follow the trail along the lake's south shore as the hillside steepens. Finally, walk below the dam in the floodplain habitats. The visitor will experience the shallows of the upper end of the lake with emergent aquatic plants, view the flowers of the Ozark woodlands along the north shore, and end in rich woods and a large stream floodplain.
Viewing Information: Spring and summer wildflowers greet visitors along the trail. In early spring look for Spring Beauty (Claytonia virginiana), Toothwort (Dentaria laciniata), Trilliums (Trillium spp.), and dog-tooth violets (Erythronium americanum). Later in late spring and early summer you will find elephant's foot (Elephantopus caroliniana) In late summer and early autumn look for woodland species of goldenrod (Solidago spp.), boneset (Eupatorium spp., including E. coelestinium along the lakeshore) and asters (Aster spp.).
Safety First: During one visit to this site, a friend of the author spotted a snake in the grass on the dam. An ornithology professor leading the field trip looked briefly at the snake and said "that's a water snake (genus Natrix). Catch it." The friend stepped on the snake and this author picked it up. He immediately told the professor "this is a copperhead". The two students had trusted their professor's field identification. So, beware of poisonous snakes in the area. In addition, the deep water and steep slopes would present a hazard for small children.
Directions: From Razorback Stadium and the University of Arkansas campus in Fayetteville, go north on Garland Avenue to Arkansas Highway 16. Turn left onto Highway 16 and drive 16 miles to the Lake Wedington area.
Ownership and Management: U.S. Forest Service, Ozark-St. Francis National Forest, Wedington Unit - Boston Mountain Ranger District.
Closest Town: Fayetteville, Arkansas.
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