From New Castle, travel north on the Buford-New Castle Road (County Road 245), starting from the northwest edge of town. Follow this road north for 28 miles to Hiner Spring; along the way, you will pass the White River National Forest boundary and the West Elk Trailhead parking lot. At Hiner Spring, turn right onto Forest Road 601 and proceed for 3.5 miles to Forest Road 823. Turn right onto Forest Road 823 and follow the road for two miles. Turn right to stay on Forest Road 823, and continue for another 0.3 miles. Turn left onto Forest Road 821 and proceed for 0.2 miles to the parking area on the left.
The Meadow Lake Picnic Area provides an outstanding location for relaxed recreation in a scenic setting. Amenities include picnic tables, fire rings and vault toilets on the lake’s northwest and northeast shorelines. The picnic area on the west side also features a dock and a boat launch. The Meadow Lake and Meadow Ridge Campgrounds are both within walking distance of the Picnic Area. This is a fee use site, but fees are waived for campground guests.
Meadow Lake itself is located in the southwest Flat Tops, and is a popular destination for fishing and boating. The Picnic Area also makes for a great stop after an adventure on one of the many motorized or non-motorized trails in the vicinity.