dogs on leash
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.
This trail is amazing! There is so much variety in scenery and surroundings. It is a challenge especially the Athens Big Fork section, but that is also what makes it fun. Finished the loop in 2 days. Hiked this the Friday/Sat. after Thanksgiving and the weather was perfect - mid 50s during day and low 40s at night. The only trouble we had was that some side trails were not clearly marked. Took a wrong turn on a trail that led to a parking lot, another wrong turn on an ATV trail, and one more wrong turn onto a side trail. I suppose if we were more meticulous about looking at the map, or had sinked up our phone with an AllTrails map, we may have avoided some of these issus. But either way, I don't know why the paths couldn't have been marked more clearly. All-in-all was a loving trip!
Beautiful trail, but what the heck the trails are so poorly marked. When you get to the end and think there's no where to go- cross the river. It took us forever to find the right area. But very beautiful great swim once we got to the peace sign rock!
My girlfriend and I completed this trail on a clear weekend in November. We did this trail after hiking the 5.6 mile Buckeye Trail the day before and camping at Katy Falls. The spur trail for the falls is only about .10 of a mile north of the Buckeye/Caney Creek Trail junction. If you are considering hiking this trail I HIGHLY recommend reading the narrative on ouachitamaps.com and bringing a map of course. The trail doesn't have mile markers or signs like other trails but is well worn. There aren't many great views on this trail but the Buckeye Trail we did the day before offered beautiful views. Viewing Katy Falls makes the hike worth it though. We had to cross Caney Creek several times on this trail but the water wasn't very high and we were able to cross on the rocks. This trail is also not very difficult as long as you are in decent shape.
My girlfriend and I recently backpacked this trail on a clear weekend in November. The views are beautiful and the trail isn't too difficult as long as you are in decent shape. If you are considering hiking this trail I HIGHLY suggest you read the narrative on ouachitamaps.com and bring a map of course. These resources will help you navigate the trail as there are no signs or mile markers like other trails. However, this trail is well worn and not easy to lose. We parked and started at the Caney Creek trailhead but we hiked a mile up the gravel road to the Buckeye trailhead in order to do both trails as a 9 mile loop. The Buckeye Trail offers stunning views. We hiked 5.6 miles the first day and set up camp at Katy Falls which was spectacular also. We replensished our water there at camp and the water was very clear. The Buckeye/Caney Creek Trail junction is about another tenth of a mile south of the Katy Falls spur trail. We did the Caney Creek Trail back to our car the following day.
This was a lovely little trail especially for kids. We did it after we did a longer trail at Queen Wilhelmena State Park. There are stands along the way that tell you what leaf is from a specific tree close by. That part was very educational. It's paved so that makes it even easier if you have a little one who isn't the most coordinated. It's a loop that starts and ends in the parking lot of the Ouachita National Forest information center. There are a few additional stands with information about the areas history. It's was lovely, very easy, and short!
Great trail, lots of ascents and descents. ABF is broken into several sections (lower,middle,upper), we did mostly lower and some middle. At one "peak" there is a sign that says "cell service" and points up, off the trail, take this trail, it provides spectacular views of the forest and is one of the few spots where you are able to get above the tree line. Challenging trail, but worth it, especially in the fall as colors are vivid.
Everything I've read about this loop says "Not for beginners" or "Experienced hikers only". I understand now what they meant. This was my first backpacking trip and I definitely chose a challenge. I was going to give myself 3 and a half days, but the rain on day 3 encouraged me to finish up the last 10 miles of the loop to avoid camping in the rain that night. Started at Albert Pike at 8:00am on 11/5 headed counter clockwise and finished at 2:30pm on 11/7. This was probably not the smartest trip I could've done not only as my first but solo as well. I do like a good challenge though. Day one was a very enjoyable 7.5 miles. i did end up pushing myself a little harder than I should've and found out the next morning I had done some minor damage to my left knee and hip. This inevitably made day 2 a beating going up and down the 6 climbs. I was going to stop at Blaylock after the 4th up and down but decided to barrel through to Eagle Rock Vista to camp for the night. I'm glad I did. I had the whole mountain to myself that night. Rain started about 3 or 4 in the morning so I had a wet camp breakdown and was already pretty wet by the time I hit the trail. It did not stop raining for the 6 hours I hiked that day. I was originally planning on breaking the last southside leg up into 2 days but decided to skip camping in the rain that night and hauled ass to the finish line back at Albert Pike. I did find a sweet cave around noon to dry off in for a second. My mom and aunt dropped me off and were coming to pick me up, but they weren't planning on being there till the next day, so I hitchhiked with a lovely older couple that was out driving around to Glenwood to stay in a motel that night. It was painful and scary at points but I'm glad I got to prove to myself that I could do this. I will definitely train a little better for next time and get my pack weight down as well.
Amazing trail. I think we let our egos overtake our bodies though. The 6 ridges are tough, and not for the easily discouraged. We left out on 11/8 @ 1:30pm going counterclockwise from Little Missouri Falls Trailhead. Got back 11/10 @ 3:30pm. Very Enjoyable trail, lots of campsites. Although not all were Hammock friendly. Plenty of good water sources. I will definitely give myself more time on the next hike here, and start at the ABF/LMT trailhead to get the ridges out of the way and to be able to camp at Eagle Rock Vista.