By Lacey Yoakem
10. Earthquake Ridge is a heavily trafficked 4.4 mile loop located at the Information Center on Rich Mountain. This trail travels up the mountain for 1 mile before it crosses highway 88 and descends down a lovely pine needle covered, rocky ridge. That’s where the trail gets its name.
9. Crystal Vista located off highway 27 near Norman, Arkansas is a nice family friendly hike, all though it is steep. This trail is an immediate uphill mile hike to the top of Gardner Mountain, where quartz crystals are seemingly sprinkled about.
8. Paige Falls trail is a .7 mile heavily trafficked trail located in the Ozark Mountains by Compton, Arkansas. This trail features several cascading waterfalls before reaching Paige Falls, an 8 ft waterfall and Broadwater Hollow Falls, a 21 ft waterfall.
7. Harris Creek Trail is a moderate 3.2 mile loop located near Umpire, Arkansas. This trail provides plenty of scenery as it follows you along 3 different body’s of water: Bakers Creek, Harris Creek and the Cossatot River. This trail provides many scenic overlooks and benches all along the way. This is a well maintained trail with these quaint little bridges that walk you over some small waterfalls too. I love this trail.
6. Black Fork Mountain trail is an 11 mile hard uphill hike to the highest point on Black Fork Mountain. I’ve done this hike 3 times and it never gets easier but the reward is worth every step. This trail is hard, its narrow, it’ll test ya.
5. Tall Peak Tower is a fieldstone structure built in 1938 by the Civilian Conservation Corps. This historical site can be reached by a 2 mile, in and out, service road off Polk County 64, or by the 6.3 mile trail located at Shady Lake. There’s caves and waterfalls on the trail.
4. The Little Grand Canyon located at the spillway of White Oak Lake near Chidester, Arkansas is a short, friendly saunter into the woods with a surprising outcome. This uniquely layered chunk of Arkansas is a swirling mixture of erosion over millions of years. It is quite the sight to see. Pictures don’t do this place justice. Go. Go tomorrow. Go yesterday. Go.
3. Hawksbill Crag/Whitaker Point in the Ozark Mountains is one of the most popular, and most photographed destinations in Arkansas. This iconic cliffs edge has been featured in countless worldwide magazine articles. This trail is a 2.9 mile descent to a cliff that stretches over a valley at 1,900 ft in elevation. If you plan to hike this trail, go early and be careful. Unfortunately there has been a number of deaths occur at Whitaker Point and with the growing crowds, the rock is starting to erode. Use caution. The photo isn’t worth your life.
2. Brushy Creek Trail is located at the Cossatot River State Park and it is B E A UTIFUL!!! The moss, the rocks, the bridges, the water canals. This trail is a strenuous 14 mile lightly trekked track into a dagum woodland wonderland. This trail travels along the Cossatot River all the way down to Wickes, Arkansas.
1. Glory. Hole. Falls. Yes, yes you read that right. Glory Hole Falls is a 1.8 mile hike down into a cave tucked away in the Ozark Mountains. What’s special about this cave is the perfectly round hole Dismal Creek has worn away in the ceiling of the cave. During the wet months a majestic waterfall cascades thru the hole, crashing down onto the cave floor and continues on its journey down the mountain. It is my favorite trail. The parking is very limited so as always, go early and be careful. There are high cliffs and slippery slopes, so use caution if you take small children.