Sportsman Lake Trail System
Sportsman Lake Trail System
Explore wooded hills and rocky outcroppings on the Sportsman Lake Trail System. Located east of Seminole, this trail system offers approximately 30 miles of trails that meander around the 15 miles of shoreline at Sportsman Lake. Open for equestrian use as well as hiking and mountain biking, these extensive trails will take you through wooded areas, across hills and steep slopes. The terrain is somewhat rocky, and there are small cliffs along the way. This is considered to be a beginner to intermediate-level trail system. The trailhead is located on the west side of the equestrian camp. Trails 1 and 2 cover the east side of Sportsman Lake, while 4, 5, 6 and 7 explore the west side of the lake.
Trail 1: From the trailhead, Trail 1 goes to the right, heading to the north. The trail will stay north for a while, going over some difficult terrain, then will begin to curve around to the east, where it crosses Quicksand Creek. Just after the creek, the trail veers south for a small half-loop, then the path crosses Tiger Creek. The trail will then head back toward the lake, and for the rest of the way it will basically follow the shoreline. Go southeast, and you will reach the dam crossing, near Beaver Pond. Keep winding southeast along the shoreline, and you'll come across Lookout Point. You'll follow the trail, changing direction while winding along inlets and small peninsulas of the lake, including Duck Point, for some time. The trail will then begin to meander to the south. Follow the path around another inlet, and you will soon come to the trail's end. From there, you can retrace your path back to the trailhead, or follow Trail 2 to loop back.
Trail 2: Though Trail 1 and Trail 2 run simultaneously in many places, the trails complete a loop. From the trailhead, Trail 2 goes to the left, curving around to the north. It meets up with Trail 1 soon after, then veers off to the left toward Outlaw Pass. This area features more difficult terrain. Follow the path to the east, where you'll cross Quicksand Creek, then Tiger Creek. After Tiger Creek, Trail 2 stays very close to the path of Trail 1, until veering off just after the dam crossing. At this point, Trail 2 goes sharply east, away from the lake, past Deer Pond to North Bee Creek. There are quite a few sub-trails between North Bee Creek and the lake that can be explored if you are so inclined. Once you cross North Bee Creek, you'll head back to the south, and soon after cross South Bee Creek. Continue on south, where you'll pass Surprise Pond, then loop around to the trail's end. Trail 1 loops here, so you can either take Trail 2 back the way you came or Trail 1.
(Trail 3 is unmarked on the map).
Trail 4: Starting at the trailhead, you must go south and cross a paved road to get to the beginning of Trail 4, marked as Point A. Trail 4 veers to the left, and follows the paved road southward for the most part. This trail winds around on tight curves, coming closer to an inlet of the lake, where it will hug the shoreline there before going back to the west, away from the lake. After a short while, the path takes a sharp turn back to the southeast. There you'll run into stump-filled terrain, then pass the Cove 3 fishing camp. At that point, there's a fork in the road - stay left to continue on Trail 4. The trail will then zig-zag along southward, where you'll hit the Big Ravine landmark, then take a hairpin turn back to the north. You'll take a couple of switchbacks as you curve around closer to the road, and you'll reach Point H. This is the end of Trail 4, and you can either begin Trail 5 there or go back on Trail 4.
Trail 5: From Point A (also where Trail 4 begins), you'll go to the right to take Trail 5. This trail runs simultaneously with Trail 4 in many places but also completes a loop with it. Trail 5 basically has the same path as Trail 4, only it covers more of the landscape just west of Trail 4. Stay to the right at each fork in the trail and you will follow Trail 5 as it goes southwardly for the most part. Past the stumps and fishing camp, you'll take the path on a zig-zag pattern until you reach the Big Ravine landmark. From there, go east, staying right, and loop up to Point H, where you can either take Trail 4 back or return on Trail 5.
Trail 6: From Point H, go east, crossing the paved road, to get to Trail 6, which is a small loop. Go left to take the trail clockwise, and not far ahead you'll reach the dam overlook. In this area, you'll follow the shoreline of the lake near the water, where wildlife-watching opportunities abound. You'll reach a resting rock, as well as Turtle Junction before going back to the north to complete the loop.
Trail 7: Trail 7 begins at Turtle Junction, which is located on Trail 6. This is a very small loop that if taken clockwise will follow the lake's shoreline before curving back up through a wooded area, ending where it began at Turtle Junction.