Black Fork Mountain Trail is a 12.8 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Mena, AR that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.
Black Fork Mountain Trail is a fairly difficult trail located across U.S. 270 from Rich Mountain. The trailhead starts at the parking area (lots of parking), then crosses the Ouachita River before crossing over some railroad tracks. The trail picks up just west of where you cross the tracks and can sometimes be a little hard to find. The first part of the trail is the Ouachita Trail but after a mile or so it breaks away to the west and goes off on its own. The Black Fork Mountain Trail is marked in white blazes and the Ouachita is marked in blue. The trail is very steep and can be a little difficult but the views are worth it. There are multiple vistas along the way, a great primitive campsite and a strangely placed bullfrog pond about halfway up. This pond is usually the only water you run into so bring plenty because I don't recommend you drinking from this one. About three quarters of the way up is one of the largest rock glaciers you'll see in this part of the country and then, about a mile past that you'll find the remains of an old homestead including a rock fence and a chimney. An additional note, back in the 1970's an airplane crashed into the mountain and you can still find the wreckage if you know where to look.
This is one of my favorite trails in Arkansas. The trail is marked very well for the majority of the hike but, once you get into the rocky areas, it gets a little harder to find your way. There is a great little campsite around 3 miles but not much water at all. The best part of this area is all of the different types of terrain you will encounter. Much of the trail is steep and rocky but you come to some really cool, flat, grassy areas when you would least expect them. Add in the old homestead about 3/4 of a mile away from the summit and there's a little something for everyone. Be warned though, there is a pretty good population of bears up there so don't be surprised if you're not by yourself!