Round Lake Dayhike
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Distance: 3 miles round trip
Hiking time: 2 hours
Season: March through Nov.
Maps: Maps available at park visitor center
Info: Round Lake State Park, (208) 263-3489
HIKING TRIP NOTES
Access: From U.S. Highway 95 at milepost 465-1/2 (south of Sagle), turn west on Dufort Road and drive 2 miles to entrance of Round Lake State Park. Pay camping or day-use fees at self-serve station and proceed to parking area. Trailhead is on northwest side of boat launch and swimming beach.
Attractions: Gentle trail with occasional interpretive signs discussing forest ecology and management. Route, which circumnavigates Round Lake, just one feature in concentrated 142-acre state park package of camping, picnicking, swimming and fishing opportunities surrounded by well-maintained nature trails.
Comments: Hike counterclockwise. Stewardship Trail begins as former roadway - wide with sign stations that educate about natural features and logging practices. Trapper Trail, which begins at same trailhead, is more intimate single track. Trails eventually merge and continue as single track around south end of lake.
Begin walking through thimbleberry, drooping ocean spray, Oregon grape, lupine and, unfortunately, growing infestations of noxious spotted knapweed. Trees include Douglas firs, hemlocks, cedars, ponderosa pines.
At bridge, look eastward to see osprey nest atop tall snag at end of pond. Proceed up grade to area where five tree species are labeled for identification.
Trail joins former logging road through clearcut that can be ablaze with blooming fireweed. Watch for sign on left (which can be partially obscured by brush) indicating trail as it leaves logging road and heads back toward Round Lake.
Trail merges with Trapper Trail and skirts south shore of lake. As trail approaches campground at northeast end of lake, take time to explore 1/4-mile-long Swamp Tromp side trail. Check out “dial-a-tree” identifier.
Back on the Stewardship/Trapper trails, walk short way past camping and day-use areas to trailhead. Water and restrooms nearby.
Park, established in 1962, charges $2 day-use fee year-round. Campfire programs scheduled during summer seasons. Swimming popular at 58-acre lake, which is 37 feet at deepest point.
, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Map: Round Lake Dayhike
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