First, some "business" details: Clicking the directions link here will not take you to the trailhead. I'm guessing it takes you somewhere near the White Rock Cabins.
Using your map app to get to Shores Lake Recreation Area will get you where you need to go. There are some dirt roads, and the paved road into the recreation area is in bad shape in some spots, be warned. The camping area will be off to the right. There's a sign indicating the trail is that way. Follow the road a little ways into the camping area and you can park right next to the trailhead.
If you decide to park in the recreation area (this is easiest), there is a $3 day use fee (honor system). The restrooms are well-maintained!
If, for whatever reason, you need/want to avoid the fee, there are other places to park. I'd suggest an old road that goes off to the left. It's uphill after you pass the camping area, just before a really sharp turn. The trail crosses the road right here.
The good stuff: the trail is GREAT. There are rocky areas, trees to scramble over, bluffs, springs, the pretty little creek with lots of picturesque pools, and the waterfalls (just the main one had any water today). The scenery can't be beat.
The trail is pretty well-traveled - we passed three other groups - but it's a bit out of the way, so I doubt it's ever over-crowded. There's some steepish up/down, and the trail is a bit narrow at points, but it's mostly easy hiking. I'd say "moderate" is a good rating.
First, this is supposed to be the White Rock SHORE Loop trail. The White Rock RIM trail has signs pointing to it starting at the bottom of the mountain labelled White Rock and White Rock Loop Trail. If you follow the signs, you will end up at the wrong trailhead, and you better have a paper map to follow because you won't have the data service to double check the location online This trail starts at the (GIANT) primitive camp near the recreation area, not 10 miles up the road by the cabins. Sorry for being dumb about that, but I'm used to much clearer signage for trailheads.
Second, this was not a lightly trafficked trail. It might have just been that we chose a busy weekend, but despite only hiking about a quarter of the trail we encountered about 2 dozen people on it including 2 families with small children and a tour group.
Trail fee was unexpected and $3 per vehicle. This would probably be a much better hike in the spring when there is water coming down the mountain and a lake rather than mud puddles. The scenery was promising enough that we're thinking of returning in the spring to see if it's actually nice, but we'll see......
Hike it last year in March over a 5 days period of time. Weather was terrible, cold and rained 4 out of the 5 days. The one day that it did not rain was absolutely beautiful.
Make sure you know how to use a compass, trails are not always marked well.
Remote and secluded. Also bring your bug repellent, got bite by a tick and ended up with lyme disease, not fun.
Overall loved the trip ; )
OHT is a badass trail and is very scenic trail and is very rough on the body. It has a lot of overlooks on the trail and is very amazing. Me and my friends only walked from Cherry Bend to Lick Branch in a weekend but now I can't wait to walk tho whole thing.
Very fun hike. The sign said "west side loop" but it's definitely not a loop. Realized that when we were halfway done and ended up turning back around. Good cardio, no difficult but I wouldn't wanna take a small child there...other than my lab.
This was a nice trail even in mid January. Well marked trail. No office near trail head. There is a rim trail on White Rock Mtn. It is in the Ozark National forest. Made a night out of the trail, hiking the east side the first evening, up to White Rock Mountain, then camping on the west side. The previously used camp sites on the west side are a little better, more level, and more common. The west side has more creek crossings and is a more gradual climb, versus the varied east side until a mile from White Rock mtn, it gets steep. Can be done as a day hike. Self pay, park is open 10-6, $5 a night if on the trail, $8-12 a night for primitive sights
Very remote, and thus an excellent retreat. Lost about 5 days to rain, and took almost a month to finish. Started at Lake Fort Smith and finished at Hwy 65 on the Buffalo River Trail. Some beautiful scenery and solitude. Plan ahead and drop or mail food, you won't be anywhere near a Walmart.
We briefly hiked from the Fairview Trailhead west to Hurricane Creek and camped overnight. We awoke the next morning and had to hike to the Chancel TH (about a mile to the east, there's a sign) because of a knee injury in our group. This section of the trail is beautiful and the boulder section feels almost "prehistoric". Be prepared when hiking section 6.....it's very difficult and the trail is very unstable with rocks, etc. Don't let this stop you, but just be prepared. Total miles hiked about 8. The Chancel TH is listed in Tim Ernst's book and is a great place to start or end a shorter hike in the Hurricane Creek Area. Thanks to a couple of backpackers that helped me get to my truck! I'm eternally grateful!