What We Drop on a Quiet Trail


Crossing Little Frog Bayou

Hiker-dog and I both needed the trail this evening! The trappings of life and full schedules had left us both tight and in need of a hike.

At the end of our 3-minute drive, I was surprised to see an empty parking lot. We walked the whole 4-mile loop without seeing another person. Part of the reason might have been recent rains that made Little Frog Bayou a wet crossing.

After watching Hiker cross, I paused and sat down for a photo of the creek. A minute later I realized she was sitting quietly at my back. Stealthy little dog!


Slightly wet crossing at Little Frog Bayou

We continued at a brisk pace since light was fading. At one point Hiker-dog paused and took that familiar backward glance as if to say, “So, are you coming?”


Hiker’s backward glance

As the day drew to a close, I realized that my feelings of anxiety and stress had passed down through my legs and into the trail. What a gift to have this beautiful path sitting quietly in our own backyard!


End of the day over Lake Alma

Harry McWater Falls on Lake Alma Trail

Access to the Harry McWater Falls is easy.  Take the 20-minute hike from the Lake Alma Trailhead and spend a few minutes taking in the soothing sounds and sights of this beautiful 12-foot waterfall.   The falls were named for a man who maintained and shared his vision for a hiking trail around Lake Alma.  That vision is now a reality which is benefiting many hikers throughout the region.


Harry McWater, the man with the vision for a trail around Lake Alma.

For a 4-mile workout, continue around the lake returning to your starting point. Plan on a wet crossing at Little Frog Bayou if the water is flowing as shown in this picture.

Driving directions are at the bottom of this page.

The 12-foot Harry McWater Falls at Lake Alma

The 12-foot Harry McWater Falls at Lake Alma

Small cascade below Harry McWater Falls

Small 3-foot cascade below Harry McWater Falls

Getting There

Take Alma Exit 13 off I-40, then drive north on Hwy 71 to the first light. Turn right onto Collum Lane East then left onto Mountain Grove Road.  Go north past the Alma water tanks on the left then a quick left into a picnic area.  The trail begins at the fishing dock.  Walk the paved Nature Trail north with the lake to your left.  The Lake Alma Trailhead is at the north end of the paved trail where it turns sharply back toward the picnic area.  If you hike the whole 3.8-mile trail, you’ll come back to the fishing dock from across the dam.   A shorter family-friendly hike is the forty-minute walk to the waterfall and back.  To get more information about Lake Alma Trail and volunteer opportunities, follow updates from the Lake Alma Trail Facebook page.

Logo for the trail, designed by UAFS student, Ashley Campbell

Logo for the trail, designed by UAFS student, Ashley Campbell