Saginaw Trail is a shortcut from the dump station to the lake at DeGray Lake Resort State Park. This easy out-and-back trail is just a quarter mile in length and is at a consistent elevation, making it perfect for everyone in the family who can navigate the dirt pathway. Your dog is even welcomed, as long as you keep him on a leash.
Saginaw Trail features pine forest, deer, squirrels, and a number of birds, including waterfowl at the lake itself. This short trail follows an old railroad bed used to transport lumber by the Saginaw Timber Company in the early 1900s, offering a unique historic element to the hike.
Saginaw Trail is DeGray Lake Resort State Park's only out and back trail. This trail, a former raised temporary railroad bed built by a logging company, is a straight shot due to its former use. A timber company originally created the temporary railroad tracks to remove cut trees from the area. Displays along the path tell the story of the trail's unique history and of the lumber company that worked the region. While most of the trail signs feature birds, trees, or other wildlife, this sign features an old locomotive, like the one used to haul logs out from the late 1800s until about 1912.
The pine trees that attracted loggers of old still attract today's hikers. The evergreens offer year-round shade for the short 1/4-mile trail, the shortest in the park. A few hardwoods are also intermingled in the mix.
The path is dirt and rock, but it is also largely covered with pine needles. Saginaw Trail is flat, and therefore good for all skill levels. Dogs are welcomed, but must remain on a leash at all times.
Common wildlife along the trail includes squirrels and deer in addition to a variety of birds. This trail does not offer views of the lake, but is great for anyone wanting a quick walk in the woods, and for anyone who loves history.
Saginaw Trail was named for the lumber company that once worked the land. In 1895, Andrew J. Neimeyer joined other businessmen in creating the Saginaw Lumber Company, named for the community in which it was created -- Saginaw, Arkansas, which is about 25 miles away from Saginaw Trail. The lumber company reportedly cut about 15 million feet of virgin pine each year and averaged about 65,000 feet of timber per day. Saginaw Lumber had a logging road that was 23 miles long to get the timber back to the mill.
Interestingly, Neimeyer was very connected within the lumber industry and was one of the early members of the International Order of Hoo-Hoo, which has been headquartered in Gurdon, Arkansas since January 1892.
Saginaw Trail is a recent discovery at DeGray Lake Resort State Park. A park interpreter noticed the 1/4-mile raised path and started researching. It was a section of dummy railroad used by Saginaw Lumber Company used to remove cut timber. Once timber in an area had been cut, the tracks were pulled up and replaced where needed for the next haul. A few displays along this trail note these facts, so hikers can also enjoy the area's history while taking in the views.