Lake Busbee bike and walking trail in Conway
Lake Busbee is a 325-acre man-made lake that was used as a cooling pond for the Grainger Steam-Electric Generating Plant built in 1966. The plant closed in 2012 but the lake remains a beautiful recreation site off of Hwy 501. No boats are allowed but the lake hosts a 2.3 mile trail around most of it (it does not make a complete circle) which is available for bike riding, running, walking, and even fishing!
I have driven by this lake thousands of times and often thought this would be a great place to visit. With no excuses on a weekend in October I finally loaded up two bicycles in my van and drove to the trail access. It can be a little tricky to get to since you can only access New Road by the on-ramp to Hwy 501 East from Hwy 701 South/4th Ave. (see the map) but if you can get to the Conway Fresh Meat Market at 1701 4th Ave., the on-ramp is right there!
There are about a dozen parking spots off of New Road with trash bins and a picnic table. And a dog park is opening adjacent to this property in 2015!
My seven-year-old daughter and I started out on our bicycles and pedaled side-by-side for the majority of the trail. There are mile markers along the trail and signs to make you aware that alligators inhabit the surrounding marshy area. We were on the look-out for alligators but saw none.
We did stop and talk to one of the two men we saw fishing and he said he had seen two alligators pop their nose up above the water around noon that day. He was going home with 16 brim (a member of the sunfish family) which he had caught in the lake and said he often catches between 12-20 brim each time he fishes there! My daughter and I passed very few people: one walking and one running, so this seemed to be one of those little-known local destinations we love to discover!
The trail itself is a mixture of gravel, asphalt, dirt, and grass (you will definitely get small pebbles in your shoes if they aren’t tied tightly). There always seemed to be a breeze blowing which is refreshing in the warm climate of the South. Next time you are looking for an outdoor activity, consider exploring the trail around Lake Busbee.