Roman Nose State Park Trail System
The Roman Nose State Park Trail System offers four interconnected trails, two for hiking, mountain biking and equestrian use, and two for hiking and mountain biking only. This is a beginner to intermediate-level trail system.
Lake Loop Trail: Open for hiking and mountain biking only, the Lake Loop Trail begins on the northwest side of Lake Watonga near Cedar Cove. You'll follow this trail northwest on a fairly straight path until you start to curve back around to the northeast, then you'll cross the lake on a narrow strip of land. From there, you'll basically follow the trail around the lake, in mostly straight paths, as you start to climb up rocky mesa-like formations. Lake Loop Trail heads back to the southeast as it goes across the Lake Watonga dam, and the trail then meets up with the Mesa Loop Trail.
Mesa Loop Trail: This trail is open for equestrian use as well as hiking and mountain biking. Starting just southeast of the Lake Watonga Dam, Mesa Loop Trail will wind around the east side of a mesa, then ascends to the top of the mesa, also known as Inspiration Point, where you can take in views of the lake and the rugged landscape. Then you'll go back down the mesa on its west side and head south. After a short while, you'll begin to wind around to the right on the path, and you'll be going north on the trail. This part of the trail meanders through a rocky area, covered in cedar trees and cactus. Stay on this path and follow it north, where can either keep right until reaching the point where you started, or curve around into the Lakeshore Loop.
Lakeshore Loop Trail: Another trail open to hikers, mountain bikers and equestrian use is Lakeshore Loop Trail. This trail explores the southeast portion of the land surrounding the lake. You can follow this trail southeast, where the path meanders a bit and then curves around to the northwest, back toward the lake. Near the lake, the trail hugs the shoreline, offering great views. This trail will take you to the Two Lakes RV area on the south end of Lake Watonga.
Black Loop Trail: Starting at the southeast edge of the Lakeshore Loop Trail is a hiking and biking only trail. This trail provides more challenging terrain in and around a canyon. Go southwest from Lakeshore Loop, where you'll follow a somewhat straight path as the elevation increases. After a while, you'll hit a sharp curve back to the northeast, which begins a series of switchbacks through the rough terrain. Follow the trail back to the south, where it will meander jaggedly until heading back to the northeast. This direction will continue for a while, and after you cross a creek you'll hit a switchback that will take you south again into another jagged loop. This loop will lead you back to Lakeshore Loop Trail, where you can choose to go west to the Two Lakes RV area or east to the other trails.