Secret Cove is located about another 3/4 of a mile farther south of well-known Chimney Beach. Unfortunately for this beach, parking can be challenging. There are 2 lots you can park in: one lot is on the side of the highway away from the lake, and the other is on the same side as the lake. There is a public restroom found at the lakeside lot. Access is gained only by parking at either of the lots and then walking the 3/4 of a mile south down a fire access road that starts at a locked gate at the restrooms OR by parking further south on Hwy 28 past the “NO PARKING” signs and then walking back north until you get to the signs marking the trails down the hill. But the views are worth the work.
All of the trails end up being fairly steep and should only be tried by those in fairly decent physical condition. Going down is easy, but remember…you have to walk back up to get out of there. The trails have been improved by the U.S. Forrest Service to include steps and boundaries. PLEASE stay on the trails because erosion is a major concern here.
There are two restrooms located near where the trails cross the access road just above the Cove. There are also trash containers provided to make it easy to dump your trash on the way out. Finally, there is an information signboard advising of the basic rules which include, “No Camping”, “No Glass Containers”, “No Fires” and that “Nudes May Be Present In This Area”.
Take the trail straight down from there for a couple of hundred yards. If you encounter a sign similar to the one shown above, please remain on the trail and go either right or left. The trail will split at some steps just as you get to the Cove. The trail to the right at that point winds down to another Information Sign much like the first. The trail then takes you to the beach via a series of additional steps. If you opt to take the trail to the left above the Cove you are taken around the rim above the Cove to its south side where you can climb down some rocks to the beach or continue along a trail going south and away from the Cove towards other beaches and lake access. Scrambling past the signs puts the hiker in a precariously unstable area that not only causes erosion, but could also result in injury.
Secret Cove owes its cleanliness to the fact that it is used by Naturists in general and also to the devoted attention given it by a small number of “locals” that have adopted it and have made it a hobby to maintain in pristine condition, free of refuse and undesirable element.