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Perry Lake Trail is divided into Four Main Sections. This was originally done for administrative reasons when dividing volunteer labor responsibilities, but also serves to separate the trail along the main access points. Due to trail length, some sections have been further divided here in order to provide detailed topographic images at a suitable scale.

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Section 1:
Section 1 is a 6.0 mile hike starting in Slough Creek Park near the southern end of the lake. An information kiosk with maps and contact information is located at the trailhead. From Slough Creek, the trail travels north along the lake. At 0.6 miles, the trail intersects with Section 4, which leaves Section 1 and heads east. Continuing north on Section 1, the trail follows the shoreline for much of the first four miles. The trail crosses the boat ramp area for Lakeside Village at approximately 4.0 miles. The #4 mile marker is just north of the boat ramp area. Here you'll encounter "table rocks" and the Mobe Rucker Memorial Park Bench for a quiet break near the lake and a scenic view. Longview Park boat ramp can be seen on the opposite side of the cove from this location. Near mile marker #5, the trail crosses Hoover Creek. Section 1 ends at Longview Park, just south of Apple Valley Farm (a great place for a break after a day on the trail). Section 1 is characterized by gentle slopes, woodlands, some open field crossings and many views of Perry Lake. (Click here to see Topo Map for Section 1.)

Longview Park:
At 1/2 mile in length, this short trail portion between Sections 1 and 2 offers a glimpse of conditions found along the entire trail. The trail starts just south of Apple Valley Farm and heads west through a small open field. Once entering the woods, a short uphill climb takes you through the "table rocks" found throughout the entire trail. At hilltop, a mix of open meadows and woods is encountered before crossing the road at the northern boundary of Longview park. This short trail section is good for day hikes and is located close to tent and RV camping.

Section 2 (West):
Section 2 is divided into two sections in order to provide similar maps for each area. The west half  is 4.2 miles long and shares some characteristics with Section 1. However, this section challenges the hiker with a bit more terrain/elevation change. From Longview Park this section heads north through woodlands and near the lake. A short distance north of mile marker #7 is a small cove area and the Richard Douthit Memorial Park Bench. This location offers a peaceful setting and long distance lake views to the southwest. At mile marker #8 you are near the southern end of the Lakewood Hills subdivision. Section 2 (West) continues around the perimeter of this subdivision for the next several miles. There are several high bluff views of the lake that are perfect for lunch breaks. As the trail follows the shore it eventually turns to the east and then south into a small cove. As you hike further back into this cove the trail passes a small pond and eventually crosses Old Quarry Road Bridge. (Click here to see Topo Maps for Section 2.)

Section 2 (East):
The eastern half of Section 2 provides some of the toughest terrain of the trail. Trail distance for the eastern half of Section 2 is 3.5 miles. From Old Quarry Road, the trail follows the southern side of Little Slough Creek and eventually enters Old Military Trail Park (closed). There are many high bluff views of the lake along this section. A short distance east of mile marker #12 you'll find the Dorothy Moore Memorial Park Bench at Solitude Point. The park bench is located near a large rock outcropping that points out over the lake below. Solitude Point is approximately 2.2 miles from the parking lot at Old Military Trail Park and is a frequent destination for day hikers starting at the Old Military Trail (OMT) trailhead. At 0.6 miles prior to the OMT trailhead, you'll cross the OMT bridge. About 0.4 miles prior to reaching the OMT trailhead/parking lot there is a spur trail (marked in white paint blazes) that leads to a walk-in hiker's campground. This campground is currently closed, pending review by Corps of Engineers staff. (Click here to see Topo Maps for Section 2.)

Section 3:
Section 3 is 3.5 miles long and offers a more remote look at the Perry Lake area. This section starts at the Old Military Trail parking lot and heads east into the backwaters of Little Slough Creek. At approximately 0.4 miles, you'll reach the site of the 94th Street Bridge. The bridge has been missing since October 2005, when flash flood waters carried it downstream several hundred feet. Another few hundred feet down the trail you cross 94th Street (gravel), then climb to a hilltop view of the Perry Lake to the west. The trail continues toward Little Slough Creek, generally following the south side of the creek and ends at Kiowa Road (gravel). (Click here to see Topo Map for Section 3.)

Section 4:
Section 4 is also very remote. This section follows the west/north side of Big Slough Creek for approximately four miles. There are many wooded areas and small field crossings. The trail follows the perimeter of the Audubon area and eventually crosses Ferguson Road (at 4.5 miles) near a recent trail reroute. Heading west from Ferguson Road the trail crosses near the boat ramp parking lot (site of a future trailhead), then continues for another 2.0 miles before reconnecting with Section 1. (Click here to see Topo Map for Section 4.)

All sections of the Main trail are marked in Blue paint blazes which appear on trees, signs or fence posts. Spur trails which lead to the hiker's campground or to alternate access points are marked in White.

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