|Elevation Gain||52 ft|
|My Time||1 hr 1 min|
|Food Nearby||Rollin Smoke BBQ|
Martin Lake Loop – Lathrop State Park
The Martin Lake Loop at Lathrop State Park, via the Cuerno Verde Trailhead, is a lovely loop around the lake with great views of the water and the nearby Spanish Peaks. The trail is paved with very little difficulty and should be available for most skill and ability levels that can handle the length.
On a personal note, Lathrop State park is located in Huerfano County. Huerfano is Colorado county number 33 out of 63 that I have now hiked in on my goal of hiking in each county.
There are a couple of places to get onto the looping trail including near the swimming area and the playground. I started at the visitor center. The Cuerno Verde trail begins at the edge of the main parking lot there.
The paved trail can be taken either way around the lake. I did the loop counter-clockwise and explored the east shore first. In the late summer there were several sunflowers in bloom on the trek around the lake that stood almost as tall as me!
The trail from the parking lot doesn’t take long to get to the waters edge, just about a third of a mile. From there you will walk on a paved path around the entire lake before returning to where you started. There are a couple of spots where dirt social trails get you closer to the water but otherwise the entire trail can be done on the paved path.
Martin Lake is a beautiful, 180 acre lake that is available to powerboats, jet skis, water skis, sail boating, and windsurfing. There is also a swim beach located on the southwest side of the lake. Those with a fishing license are allowed to fish for the trout, saugeye, muskie, pike, and catfish.
The trail around the lake alternates between a few feet from the water and about 30 yards away at its furthest point. Martin Lake is pretty much always in view and it is one of the most amazing views. The Spanish Peaks can be seen in the distance and the shoreline is mostly covered in trees, bushes and other vegetation making for a tremendous view all around the lake.
The real key to the hike is the mountain views. The Peaks stand over the lake like shadowy guardians in the distance. The views of the mountains can be seen for a majority of the eastern and northern legs around the lake and are only replaced with the lake only view on the western side. Since this is such an easy and paved hike the hiker is able to really appreciate the mountain views for the a majority of the walk.
The mountain views really take this from an easy lake walk to an exciting hike around the lake. I was mesmerized by their beauty, especially with a haze draped over them and clouds building above their peaks. The weather seemed to frame the mountains like an oil painting.
That being said, the hike itself is not very challenging. If you are looking for something to really challenge you body and get the blood pumping, this might not be the one for you. But if you are looking for an amazing nature walk that is available to the whole family, the Martin Lake Loop might just be perfect.
Video of the Martin Lake Loop at Lathrop State Park
I have put together a time-lapse video of the hike to give you a feel for what the hike is like. If you enjoy the video make sure to hit that subscribe button on my YouTube Channel. It is free and will give you updates as soon as there is new video available.
Distance and Elevation
If you don’t have the AllTrails app you might want to check it out, I really love mine. It records your progress and is a great way to search for hikes that are nearby and gives you difficulty measurements. According to AllTrails today’s hike was around 3.05 miles and had a total elevation gain of about 52 feet including undulations. That put the high point at around 6,427 feet. I was also moving for a total of 1 hours and 1 minute.
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This is a really easy walk on a paved around the lake. It does come in and just over three miles so that distance might make it a little more challenging for some. However, there is no real elevation to deal with so that makes it easier. I am still going to rate this as an easy hike despite the distance.
It doesn’t get much easier than a paved path. The paved walkway goes all the way around the lake but there are some smaller dirt paths to get you closer to the waters edge at places. There is also not much cover on the trail so make sure to be prepared for the elements.
Martin Lake can be found in Lathrop State Park. Lathrop is part of the state park system and requires a $9 fee per vehicle to enter or you can purchase a yearly pass. There was plenty of parking at the visitor center for this hike and there are parking lots spread around the loop. There are also several restrooms and picnic areas throughout the park.
Wrapping up the Martin Lake Loop at Lathrop State Park
The Martin Lake Loop at Lathrop State Park was a re really enjoyable break from a road trip. The park is really nice and the lake is big. There were several people out fishing and boating on my trip around.
This is not a very challenging hike which means that more people should be able to enjoy it. It also means that instead of focusing on your feet you can focus on the views of the mountains and the lake. I really enjoyed my time even if it was a quick stop.
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