dogs on leash
Just finished this yesterday. Not for the faint of heart. Or those not in shape. There some very steep mountains and numerous (10+) water crossings where you won't be able to cross in boots or by rock hopping when the water is up even a little as it is now. Would be much prettier in the spring or autumn but even this time of year it's still gorgeous. Did it in 3 days. If you plan on stopping often to fish or sight see (there are a few side trails with killer views on the tops of each of the mountains that I highly recommend dropping your packs and trekking to. Each one is short but very steep so best without all your gear except some water and a camera) then I recommend breaking it up into 5-7 mile stints over 4 days. Highly recommended trail if you're fit enough to make it and love fishing, hiking, and the gorgeous views of Arkansas.
Did this trail in mid July. It was a great time; temperature was almost perfect (could've been a little colder). The north-eastern section of the trail is definitely the hardest (lots of hills), but if you plan your trip to do half the hills in one day, and the other half the next day, it'll be much more manageable. There are tons of super scenic spots on this trail, and plenty of spots to refill water (if it has rained in the past couple weeks). Crossing the little Missouri could be tough if the water levels are high so plan accordingly. Overall, great trip that I plan on doing again.
Crystal C. on Womble Trail
I've been from North Fork Lake to Hwy 270. Enjoyed every step. Love looking out off the top of Gaston Mtn. Haven't seen anyone else on the trail yet but have seen some sign of people being there before me. Can't wait to do some more of it.
Outstanding trail and so beautiful! I started at Little Missouri Falls overflow parking lot because the trail is right in front of you. There were 3 river crossings and it could have been 5 where water shoes are required and there are several other stream crossings as well. My trail runners were damp half of the time. Traveling counter-clockwise, I camped on the straight part of the trail just past Eagle Rock Summit the first night. I fell just 3 miles short of completing my hike the second day, but landed at an incredible campsite to enjoy my last night. Starting from where I did was perfect because you get through the big ups and downs while your fresh. The final one:, Brush Heap Mountain is a real doozy!
It was a great experience with this trail. As soon as reviewed this Nov 2016, I made up my mind to do backpacking Dec 17, 2016. I went ccw starting from WS parking. Even though blazes were helpful, I got confused twice around little missouri falls. While gage height was around 2ft, i had to cross wet three times. Because of my miscalculation, I had to sleep in hammock on the top of eagle rock vista at 18F lol. It was a really challenging trail, but I enjoyed and will come back again Jan 2017 with my sons.
Would rate this trail "difficult" because of the multiple steep mountain climbs. Inclines, inclines, inclines! Wouldn't make this the last trail if doing the whole ERL. The very top of Brush Heap Mountain had the best view at about 2000 ft. Recommend that overlook.
Wolfpen has not added more trails as the previous review stated. They have steadily been removing trails from the system. That's why a low star rating. Plus the trails are now closed Nov. through February. The trails system is also primarily for ATV riding. Huge tourism draw for the area which led to all the cabins near the trail. Favorite trails are 3,8, and 6. Improvements being made are making for a less primitive trail system and more like roads.
Wow, such an incredible trail. We went clockwise around the trail starting in the Northwestern corner. The trail is full of streams and water crossings. I only had to cross wet twice. Blazes are plentiful, just make sure you pay attention it's easy to get off trail on accident. We hiked the hard mountainous section last. Do not underestimate the difficulty of it. There are at least 5 significant climbs, we are both in good shape and had to take numerous breaks. Next time I may do the trail counterclockwise to knock out the hard part on day one. The rest of the trail is a breeze.