Encircling Lake Perez at the Stone Valley Recreation Area is the Lake Trail. This orange blazed trail is approximately 2.7 miles long and is relatively flat, with only a few small climbs and descents. This was the destination for the Restek Ramblers on the last Tuesday of April.
We parked at the main parking area within the Stone Vally Recreation Area, near the boat launch. Once everyone showed up we began hiking the Lake Trail in a counter-clockwise direction. The trail starts as an improved gravel trail but it soon turns to packed dirt. Soon the trail turns to the left and crosses Shaver Creek. At about a half mile we came upon the Shaver's Creek Environmental Center.
After pausing here for a bit to take a look at the overview map of the area, we continued hiking on the orange-blazed trail. We were now on the north side of Lake Perez. The trail comes close to the steep shoreline and offered us occasional glimpses of the lake. At a bit over a mile into the hike we encountered our biggest climb of the hike. Once we reached the top of the climb we all took a break to catch our breath and wet our whistle.
Soon we emerged onto a powerline clearing. We followed this for a short ways before bearing left off the clearing, still following the Lake Trail. We crossed a paved road and then began another, shorter climb. At the top of this climb is one of the climbing tower that Stone Valley Recreation Area has scattered around the lake.
Soon we were walking across the breast of the dam. From here we had a nice view over the newly filled Lake Perez. We crossed the dam spillway on a bridge and turned left to follow the lake shoreline back to the parking area and our waiting cars. This was a nice hike, with a few climbs to get the heart pumping, but nothing too strenuous and the length was perfect for an after work hike.Continue reading