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Northwest Arkansas Trails-3 to 10 Miles

Redding/Spy Rock Loop, Ozark National Forest

Miles:  8.8 • Rating:  Moderate • Allowed:  Camping and Dogs

Map and Trail description available:  Arkansas Hiking Trails guidebook by Tim Ernst

Contact:  Pleasant Hill Ranger District    Phone  501-754-2864

This is one of four loop trails that connect with the Ozark Highlands Trail (OHT). It passes several nice waterfalls, and has a spur that goes on out to a wonderful view area called Spy Rock.

 

Pedestal Rocks/Kings Bluff Loops, Ozark National Forest

Miles:  4.3 miles total • Rating:  Easy *DANGEROUS BLUFFS*Allowed:  Dogs

Map and Trail description available: Arkansas Hiking Trails and Ozark Highlands Trail guidebooks by Tim Ernst

Contact:  Bayou Ranger District  Phone  501-284-3150

There are actually two loops here, and both of them visit some spectacular and unique sandstone bluff formations, and have terrific special scenic spots.  You will be awed by Kings Bluff, and the waterfall there. And won’t believe how the wind and water have shaped Pedestal Rocks. All of this is located in the Pedestal Rocks Scenic Area, located near Ben Hur, just off of Hwy. 16 in the Ozark National Forest.

 

Hawksbill Crag Trail,  Upper Buffalo Wilderness, Ozark National Forest

Miles: 3.0 • Rating:  Moderate *DANGEROUS BLUFFS* Allowed:  Camping and Dogs

Map and Trail description available:  Arkansas Hiking Trails and Buffalo River Hiking Trails guidebooks by Tim Ernst

Contact:  Buffalo Ranger District     Phone  870-446-5122

Hawksbill Crag is one of the most recognizable spots in Arkansas. It’s an amazing rock outcrop that sticks out from the top of a tall bluff, and is usually photographed with hikers on it. It is located in the 14,200 acre Upper Buffalo Wilderness Area of the Ozark National Forest, near the Buffalo River.

 

Horsehead Lake Trail,  Horsehead Lake Recreation Area, Ozark National Forest

Miles:  3.0 • Rating:  Moderate • Allowed:  Dogs

Map and Trail description available:  None

Contact:  www.fs.fed.us/oonf/ozark  or Phone  479-754-2864

This loop trail offers scenic views of the Ozark Mountains and Horsehead Lake. Large hardwoods offer spectacular fall foliage.

 

Pea Ridge Trail, Pea Ridge National Military Park

Miles:  8.7 • Rating: Moderate • Allowed:  no dogs

Map and Trail description available:  Arkansas Hiking Trails guidebook by Tim Ernst

Contact:  Pea Ridge National Military Park    Phone  501-451-8122

This loop trail is historical sure, but also interesting and scenic. It is pretty easy to hike, as it follows many old roads through open fields. There are lots of deer around.

 

Cecil Cove Loop Trail, Buffalo National River

Miles:  7.4 • Rating:  Moderate • Allowed:  Camping and Horses, no dogs

Map and Trail description available:  Arkansas Hiking Trails and Buffalo River Hiking Trails guidebooks by Tim Ernst

Contact:  Buffalo National River   Phone (870)741-5443

This scenic trail runs along Cecil Creek (crossing is several times), then loops back up high on a bench and drops down to the Buffalo River and Goat Bluff- there are lots of special scenic spots along the way. It visits many historical sites too.

 

Hemmed-In Hollow,  Buffalo National River

Miles:  5.0 • Rated:  Difficult • Allowed:  Camping allowed on part of trail, no dogs

Map and Trail description available:  Arkansas Hiking Trails and Buffalo River Hiking Trails guidebooks by Tim Ernst

Contact:  Buffalo National River    Phone  870-741-5443

This is one of two trailheads that will take you down into the famed Hemmed-In Hollow at Buffalo National River, and to the tallest waterfall between the Rockies and the Appalachians. It’s the Compton Trailhead. This is a steep trail, both going in and especially coming out, but if you can handle it, you will be rewarded greatly!!

 

Tyler Bend Trails System,  Buffalo National River

Miles:  nine-tenths (.9) to 4.0 miles • Rating:  Easy • Allowed: No dogs

Map and Trail description available:  Arkansas Hiking Trails and Buffalo River Hiking Trails guidebooks by Tim Ernst, Arkansas Dayhikes for Kids and Families by Pam Ernst

Contact:  Buffalo National River  Phone  870-741-5443

Tyler Bend is one of the main visitor facilities on the Buffalo River. There is a nice Visitor Center and museum there, as well as campgrounds, picnic areas, and canoe access. Tyler Bend is located off of Hwy 65 between St. Joe and Marshall, just south of the Hwy 65 bridge across the Buffalo. There are three trail parking areas-one off to the left as you begin the drive down the hill to the Visitor Center, the Visitor Center itself, and just beyond the Visitor Center on the right, at the Amphitheater. There are four trails in the park, and all of them connect with the Buffalo River Trail, and to each other. You can make several different lengths of loop hikes by connecting these trails.

 

Rush Mountain Trail,  Buffalo National River

Miles:  3.6 • Rating:  Easy-Moderate • Allowed: No dogs

Map and Trail description available:  Arkansas Hiking Trails and Buffalo River Hiking Trails guidebooks by Tim Ernst

Contact:  Buffalo National River  Phone  870-741-5443

Rush is an old mining town, a ghost town if you will, that was first opened up in the 1880’s when zinc ore was discovered. The community that was built up around the mines endured until the 1960’s. Some of the buildings still exist today, and two different trails visit the area. The Rush Mountain Trail, is a longer trail that goes past many of the old mines, loops around and goes up and over Rush Mountain. All of this area is now part of Buffalo National River.  A word of caution:  Do not enter any of the mines. Many of them are very unstable.

 

Gilbert Railroad Trail, Buffalo National River

Miles:  3.4 round trip • Rating: Easy • Allowed: no dogs

Map and Trail description available: Buffalo River Hiking Trails guidebook by Tim Ernst

Contact:  Buffalo National River  Phone 870-741-5443

Gilbert is a sleepy old town right down on the Buffalo River. If you pay much attention to the weather reports in the winter, you probably know that this is one of the coldest spots in the state! The trail travels on an old railroad grade and is level the entire way. The trail runs above the river for 1.5 miles.

 

Indian Rockhouse Loop,  Buffalo National River

Miles: 3.0 round trip • Rating:  Easy but steep climb out • Allowed: No dogs

Map and Trail description available:  Arkansas Hiking Trails and Buffalo River Hiking Trails guidebooks by Tim Ernst, Arkansas Dayhikes for Kids and Families by Pam Ernst

Contact:  Buffalo National River  Phone  870-741-5443

Buffalo Point is the most developed public area within Buffalo National River. Besides a Visitor Center, there are several campgrounds, cabins, a restaurant, picnic areas, river access, and a number of hiking trails. Most of these trails just connect facilities, but one, the Indian Rockhouse Trail, is a wonderful three-mile loop into a scenic area, and visits one of the largest bluff overhangs in the Ozarks.

 

Lake Norfork Trail,  Corps of Engineers

Miles: 5.2 one way • Rating:  Easy • Allowed:  Dogs

Map and Trail description available:  Arkansas Hiking Trails guidebook by Tim Ernst

Contact:  Bull Shoals/Norfork Lake    Phone   870-425-2700

The Lake Norfork Trail will eventually be 84 miles long. This 5.2-mile stretch, which begins at the dam and runs along the lake shore, was built in 1993. Another 4 miles will be built in 1994. Since things will be changing so rapidly, be sure to check with the Corps of Engineers office in Mountain Home for the latest information.

 

Lost Bridge Loop, Corps of Engineers

Miles:  5.0 • Rating:  Easy-Moderate • Allowed:  Camping and Dogs

Map and Trail description available:  Arkansas Hiking Trails guidebook by Tim Ernst

Contact:  Beaver Lake    Phone  479-636-1210

This loop trail is one of the shorter backpacking trails in the state, and it has some great views of Beaver Lake, several bluffs, and visits a historical homestead site. It is located in Lost Bridge Park.

 

Robinson Point Trail,  Corps of Engineers

Miles:  3.3 round trip • Rating:  Easy • Allowed:  Dogs

Map and Trail description available:  Arkansas Hiking Trails guidebook by Tim Ernst

Contact:  Bull Shoals/Norfork Lake    Phone  870-425-2700

This National Recreation Trail, just outside of Mountain Home, winds around the shores of Lake Norfork, and has a spectacular view of the lake from high atop a terrific bluff area. It also visits some stands of very old, twisted cedar trees that have a great deal of character. And in the springtime, there are lots and lots of wildflowers scattered all along the trail.

 

Dogwood Nature Trail,  Corps of Engineers

Miles:  3.0 round trip • Rating:  Easy • Allowed:  Dogs

Map and Trail description available:  Arkansas Hiking Trails guidebook by Tim Ernst, Arkansas Dayhikes for Kids and Families by Pam Ernst

Contact:  Bull Shoals/Norfork Lake    Phone  870-425-2700

This trail winds through the woods just above Bull Shoals Lake, and ends at a spectacular set of bluffs that disappear deep into the waters. It is located at Lakeview Park, just outside the community of Lakeview, near Bull Shoals Dam. There is a brochure about the trail available at the entrance station.

 

Pigeon Roost Trail,  Hobbs State Park-Conservation Area

Miles:  4.2 and 8.4 loops • Rating:  Easy Backpack, Moderate Dayhike • Allowed:  Camping and Dogs

Map and Trail description available:  Arkansas Hiking Trails guidebook by Tim Ernst

Contact:  Beaver Lake State Park  Phone  501-789-2380

There are actually two loops on this trail, and they make up a figure eight sort of pattern.  Overnight camping is allowed on the longer loop-there are 5 small primitive sites available.

 

Woolly Hollow Loop,  Woolly Hollow State Park

Miles:  3.5 • Rating:  Easy • Allowed:  Dogs

Map and Trail description available:  Arkansas Hiking Trails guidebook by Tim Ernst

Contact:  Woolly Hollow State Park    Phone  501-679-2098

This is a fairly easy-to-hike trail that loops around Lake Bennett at this State Park. It visits a number of hillside glades. There are some nice campsites in the park, as well as a Visitor Center, covered pavilion, swimming beach, and showers.

 

Huckleberry Trail,  Woolly Hollow State Park

Miles:  3.5 miles • Rating:  Easy-Moderate • Allowed:  Dogs

Map and Trail description available:  None

Contact:  wollyhollow@arkansas.com or  Phone  (501)679-2098

Beginning at the bathhouse in the campground and looping around Lake Bennett, the trail climbs the ridge, offering scenic views of the lake. Crossing the lake’s earthen dam, the trail winds through a hardwood forest back to the main area of the park.

 

Yellow Rock Trail,  Devil’s Den State Park

Miles:  3.0 • Rating:  Moderate • Allowed:  Dogs

Map and Trail description available:  Arkansas Dayhikes for Kids and Families by Pam Ernst

Contact:  devilsden@arkansas.com or Phone (479)761-3325

Forest scenery and a spectacular view from Yellow Rock Bluff await hikers on this trail.

 

Two Turtles Trail at Lake Fayetteville, City of Fayetteville

Miles: 5.2 • Rating: Easy • Allowed: Dogs and mountain bikes

Map and Trail description available: none

Contact: Fayetteville Parks & Recreation, 479-

This is an urban trail that goes all the way around Lake Fayetteville, deep in the woods much of the time. It passes through a couple of picnic areas, past the future sight of the Northwest Arkansas Botanical Gardens, and runs along the top of the long earthen dam. One of the access points is located at Veterans Park just across the road from the busy Northwest Arkasnas Mall (down Zion road a block). This trail gets a lot of mountain bike traffic, and the lake get a lot of fishing traffic - a great place to fish or hike right in town!

 

Round Top Mountain Trail, Newton County Resource Council

Miles: 4.0 • Rating: Easy to medium *Warning-Trail closed to due to Landslide*Allowed: Dogs

Map and Trail description available: Arkansas Dayhikes for Kids and Families by Pam Ernst

Contact: Newton County Resource Council, 870-446-5898

This is a neat trail located just south of Jasper that encircles Round Top Mountain, passing tall bluffs with great views of the sourrounding countryside. The trail goes to the site of a WWII bomber crash, and a lot of the plane's parts are still visible, including one of the engines. Easy access off of Hwy. 7.

 

Lake Leatherwood Trail, City of Eureka Springs

Miles: 3.8 • Rating: Easy • Allowed: Dogs and mountain bikes, camping at park

Map and Trail Description: Available at park office

Contact: City of Eureka Springs (info posted soon)

Here is another great trail that circles a lake, and goes across the top of a neat stone dam that was built in the 1930's. It is a backcountry trail, although it is located entirely on city property, one of the largest city parks in the United States. Someday the trail may connect with the city of Eureka Springs proper. It gets heavy mountain bike use, but the bikers do their part to keep the trail maintained. This lake park is one of the best kept secrets in the Ozarks. Great fishing too.

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