Distance: 2.8 (4.5km) miles roundtrip
Average Time: 1 1/2 hours
Difficulty: Easy, fully paved wheelchair accessible trail. May be hot in summer as most areas of the trail are not forested.
Starting Point: Two trailheads- one at the parking lot at the dam and another at the northeast corner of the lake.
Veterans Lake Trail offers excellent views of the lake as it winds along the shoreline. Here, you pass through a transition from oaks and red cedars of the Eastern hardwood forest to the tallgrasses and wildflowers of Western prairie.
Prairie plants along the trail include yucca, prickly pear cactus, eryngo, Indian grass, big bluestem, little bluestem, and blue gamma grass. Dominant wildflowers around the lake in the spring include black-eyed susan, purple coneflower (snakeroot), and false indigo.
In the early morning, the lake is still and peaceful and in the evenings you can see beautiful sunsets. Perhaps a white-tailed deer or armadillo may venture out in the open. Watch for colorful rafts of Canada geese and ducks, which frequent the lake in the fall and spring.
Veterans Lake was built in 1933 and became part of Chickasaw National Recreation Area in 1983. The 67 acre lake was named in honor of American war veterans.