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Hike #44 – Woodland Lake Loop

Location: From the Pinetop Post Office on SR 260, drive 0.3 miles east on 260 and turn right on Woodland Lake Road. Drive about 0.2 miles and turn right where Woodland Lake Road bends left, into the Recreation Area. Drive to the end of the road and park. Or you can continue another 0.1 mile on Woodland Lake Road and turn into a second parking lot visible from the road.

Trail: Paved with asphalt all around the lake.

Trailhead and Directions: The trailhead is easy to see from either parking area that leads to the paved trail. Walk either direction around the lake. There are numerous areas to “pull off” and look for birds or rest on one of the benches.

Access: Hiking, bicycling, no motorized vehicles, handicapped accessible.

Distance: One circumnavigation of the lake is about 1.02 miles.

Difficulty: Easy. There is a slight incline along the northeast corner of the lake that might take some pushing for a wheelchair.

Features: The lake is well used by walkers, people chattering and not paying attention, mothers with strollers, occasional joggers, and rarely bicycles so you have to watch where you are going. The land around the lake is being threatened with development and there are posters explaining the situation. Fishing is sometimes good here and there is a fishing pier for those who wish to use it.

The area around the lake is open Ponderosa Pine, some juniper and oak woodland with flowers and birds. The bird species most desired here is Lewis’s Woodpecker that can be abundant to uncommon depending on season. Ducks in the lake are mostly Mallards, some mixed with barnyard ducks, often Ruddy Ducks and American Coots, and in some seasons, many other species of local ducks. Canada Geese are usually here along with a few Double-crested Cormorants and Ospreys. Both Yellow-headed and Red-winged Blackbirds can be in the reeds. Sora have nested here. If the reeds and cattails are left standing, there may be Yellowthroats. Great-tailed Grackles and Brewer’s Blackbirds are common. Other warblers, hummingbirds, finches, and sparrows may be there depending on season.

The lake level is determined by precipitation and run off and by a landowner who has the water rights to use the water for farming or cattle ranching. Some years it is full and some years dangerously low.

Connections: Many long trails in the Tracks system. See map below.

Woodland Lake Loop
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