Lake Maumelle, created in 1958, is a major source of drinking water for about 400,000 people in and around Little Rock. Central Arkansas water owns the lake, which covers 8,900 acres (about 14 square miles), and about 9,000 acres of land around it. Because the lake supplies drinking water, Central Arkansas Water limits recreational use, although it encourages activities that promote environmental awareness and conservation. Visit http://www.carkw.com/
for more lake rules and regulations as well as fishing hot spots.
Lake Maumelle sometimes draws huge concentrations of wintering bald eagles, which attract many birding enthusiasts. Sometimes the eagles and other birds such as diving ducks and loons can be seen from one of the birding trails along the south side of the lake. Also, consider launching a boat from the Jolly Roger’s Public Launch Ramp or join the interpreters at nearby Pinnacle Mountain State Park, who often lead winter barge cruises on the lake to observe the eagles.
Scan the open water of the main lake for many species of water birds that often visit. Common loons turn up, as well as a variety of diving ducks such as lesser scaup, common goldeneyes and buffleheads. Three species of mergansers have been reported – hooded, red-breasted and common and four species of grebes – pied-billed, eared, horned and western. Watch the skies for gulls (Franklin’s and ring-billed frequent the area), and shoreline pines for eagles. Rarities seen here include red-throated loons, red-necked phalaropes, long-tailed ducks, white winged scoters and black scoters.
Bufflehead Bay Trail:
This is a 0.2 miles one way, out-and-back hike with views of Lake Maumelle. Click to open trail map
Loon Point/Farkleberry Trail:
This is a 0.13 miles one way, out-and-back hike with views of Lake Maumelle. Click to open trail map
Vista Park/Ouachita National Recreation Trail:
This trail begins at Pinnacle Mountain State Park just east of the lake, follows the north shore of Lake Maumelle for 22 miles, providing good access for viewing wildlife in the upland woods adjoining the lake. For more information on this trail, which traverses across Arkansas to Oklahoma, visit http://friendsot.org/
. The trail crosses Highway 10 on the west side of Lake Maumelle near Vista Park.