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Arkansas Thru Hikes Map
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Reviews (1,037)
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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 27, 2021
BackpackingBugsGreat!Over grown

Definitely not a beginners trail by any means, I’ve hiked these trails with some buddies 5 times now and am always itching to get back out there. Beautiful views and even better memories, go with some friends and stay a couple nights. You won’t regret it! Expect to see TONS of wildlife, (copperheads, hogs, deer, otters, cougars, and tons of raccoons. Haven’t seen any bears yet but they’re definitely out there. Overall best trail in central/south USA

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Robert Hutchings reviewed Ponca to Pruitt via Buffalo River Trail
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 26, 2021

My 11 year-old son and I did this this week. Trail is marked at most forks, though we still had to use our Natl Geo map and took a wrong turn a few times, but is rarely marked en route. Streams were everywhere, so much that even when we were down to half a liter of water each, I was passing up opportunities to refill. gorgeous views of the river and countryside. Also saw tracks of virtually every animal in NW Arkansas, including bears and mountain lions, though we didn't actually see the animals themselves.

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Brad Wheeler reviewed Eagle Rock Loop
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 16, 2021
Hiking

Pre-emptive review that I'll update post trip. Planning to do this in 2-3 days with my 2 ridgebacks starting on February 27 give or take a day. If anyone wants to join us, please reach out! Last one we did was 20 miles through the Kettle Moraine State Forest (WI) in Nov 2020, and then the 100+ miles of the Shenandoah SOBO in late 2019.

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Brian Morelli reviewed Eagle Rock Loop
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJanuary 24, 2021
BackpackingGreat!

Fantastic backpacking. Took 2.5 days Jan. 21-23 to complete the loop. It had rained on Jan 20 so water was plentiful throughout. Started at Little Missouri falls and went clockwise. Day 1: 12 miles. hit the majority of water crossings and took a dip in one of the pools near winding stairs. Wake you up chilly but worth it. Hiked about half the day in Chacos to avoid taking boots on and off. You could rock hop across all but 5-6 without getting wet. Water at the deepest crossing was just below knee level. Camped shortly after turning west on the southern section along the Viles Branch trail. Day 2: 10.5 miles, ~2800 feet of climb. Completed the Viles Branch trail in Chacos as there were a number of creek crossings. You could rock hop across most but not all and it was a fairly flat section so it was easier to hike in Chacos. Put boots on at the junction with Athens Big Fork and knocked out 5 of the 6 peaks. The eagle rock and brush heap peak side trails are worth it. There were camp sites at the first 4 peaks but not the 5th on McKinley Mountain, which was a little disappointing. We carried a gallon of extra water hoping to camp on the ridge only to not find a site. But we found a nice spot by straight creek at the bottom. Day 3: 5.5 miles. Tackled the final peak and had rolling hills back to the car. Observations: - Great option for winter backpacking. - Great option for backpacking in the Midwest. - beautiful rock formations, water falls, river views, scenic vistas, etc. - strenuous in line with backpacking in Utah, Arizona, and Appalachian trail. Take it seriously, but don’t let the “extremely strenuous” deter you if have some backpacking experience. - Came across only 4 groups on the trail, so January is a great time to visit to avoid crowds. When we got back to the car on Saturday there were several groups of day trippers. - Ton of established campsite options. Too many. - No permits needed for camping or parking. - save weight by carrying less water because it’s so plentiful. - Too many campsites right on the trail. Some literally had fire pits in the middle of the trail. Don’t understand why ERL doesn’t follow the etiquette of camping out of site of the trail. - Not a lot of litter, but most campsites and had some level of trash. - Did not see any wildlife other than a few deer Overall, highly recommended!

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Karl Tabler reviewed Eagle Rock Loop
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 19, 2021
Camping

Amazing trails with water sources the entire hike almost. Climbs and descents were a little brutal here and there, but well worth it. Prepare to be wet at some points with the River crossings, especially if it rains like it did on us. Over all one of my favorites!

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 17, 2021
HikingGreat!
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Joe Nesbitt reviewed Eagle Rock Loop
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 16, 2021
BackpackingGreat!

Hiked this loop January 16-18. Started at Athens Big Fork Trailhead (TH) South. No problem finding the trailhead using Google Maps. As previously mentioned, Athens Big Fork TH South adds right at 1.4 miles and is a steep warm up over Big Tom Mountain. Warm up is putting it mildly. We traveled clockwise and completed the loop in 2.5 days. Day one we hiked 12 miles (3,271 of elevation gain) over the mountain section of the trail and it was a good challenge. Night one we camped along the Little Missouri. Great campsites everywhere on this loop Day 2 was 12.5 miles but only 1,476 of elevation gain. We camped along the Little Missouri where the trail bends back going west. There are many great campsites along this 1 mile stretch before you cross the Little Missouri again. Day 3 was a light 6 miles, completely flat except for our hike back over Big Tom to the Athens Big Fork South TH. This is a beautiful and challenging loop. The trail is well maintained and marked. Loved it and highly recommend.

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Ty DeLee reviewed Eagle Rock Loop
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 16, 2021
Hiking

Don’t recommend this one after dark. There are a couple spots, usually water crossings, where you’ll spend awhile trying to figure out where you’re going.

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Lowell Collins reviewed Wedington Lower Roundtop Trail
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJanuary 16, 2021
HikingGreat!
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Leslie Driskill reviewed Eagle Rock Loop
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 16, 2021
Hiking

Oh, how I loved this hike! I set out intending to only spend one night on the trail. After finding this really cool log that was wide enough to nap on a few miles in, I decided to take my time so I could stop and enjoy the natural wonders this trail had to offer. If I had packed more food, I would have made it 3 nights instead of just 2. There were several side trails leading up to the peaks of each mountain, but I only took the time to do one of them. Be ready to get your feet wet. There were a BUNCH of water crossings. One of them is very long and leads to some beautiful scenery and very difficult ridges. One of the paths near the end of my hike was a ledge less than a foot wide overlooking the river. Another similar portion of the trail had a downed tree, requiring me to crawl under it with my pack on. A third section was next to an active spring and required one to either wade through knee high, murky muddy water or to traverse another narrow, rocky, steep, and wet path. Almost all of the water was crystal clear. I kept two 1L bottles for my dog and I, and we never used the second liter before finding another water source. There were plenty of campsites, most near water and a few at the top of each ridge. This hike definitely was a challenge, and I’m happy to have completed it with no issues. The full loop took me 36 miles, including one hike to the top of a peak and a few breaks where I wandered around without stopping my recording.

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 16, 2021
Hiking
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Keisha Owings reviewed Eagle Rock Loop
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 16, 2021
BackpackingGreat!

Overall the hike was amazing, weather got a little crazy so I was grateful for the road half way to get me back to the parking lot!! I will be back to finish it!! This was my first backpacking experience and it made me realize how much I can push my self!!! Loved this hike!!

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Paul Freer reviewed Eagle Rock Loop
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 12, 2021
HikingGreat!

Overall great hike! I did this as a two day backpacking trip starting from the second trail head accessible from the Albert Pike Rec Area. The first five miles follows the Little Missouri River with great views and camping spots. The next 4 miles was very flat and not much to see except some abandon refrigerators. After that I hit the mountains and went to all the accessible peaks. Each peak had great views which slightly differed. This was the more difficult part of the trail, so it was good that I camped in the middle to break up the climbs. After that the trail follows water the whole time. It didn’t have much elevation gain but it was a very calm and peaceful walk. If I were to go again I would start on the other side and camp along the Little Missouri because those spots are beautiful. Trail markings were adequate; I didn’t find myself lost any more than a few times. River crossings were not too challenging I had to remove my boots and go barefoot at about 6 spots but the walk was not too difficult.

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 3, 2021
BackpackingRocky

was very dry when we did it. I really enjoyed the trail

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John Goodwin reviewed Eagle Rock Loop
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 28, 2020
Hiking

Great conditions. No complaints! But pick up your trash!

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Justin Dyal reviewed Wedington Lower Roundtop Trail
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 26, 2020
Hiking
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Marlena Spencer reviewed Eagle Rock Loop
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 25, 2020
Hiking

We had so much fun on our hiking trip, it was a success. There are 1.8 million acres in the Ouachita National Forest. We only did half of the trail, because it was a “TOUGH” one. It wasn’t a hiking trail, it seemed like all there was, were large mountains to cross. 25 degrees and snow up and down mountains and cross rivers and streams, truly whipped our butts. But overall we didn’t kill each other lol We will definitely be training to finish the entire trail and now know what to expect. We literally seen no humans the entire trip. We overall had a great time in spite of our body aches. My husband was a cop and I was in the Army and it still was extremely hard.

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 20, 2020
Hiking

Good training hike!

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Jessie Wildman Luno reviewed Wedington Lower Roundtop Trail
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 20, 2020
Hiking
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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 17, 2020
Hiking
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Jeffrey Scroggins reviewed Eagle Rock Loop
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 15, 2020
Hiking

(on Dec 6) Lost bottom part of red trekking pole somewhere between main trailhead and Blaylock Creek (thinking back though it's probably IN the creek about 70 yards south of "official" trail crossing). We opted to cross the creek ~70 yards further south of the "official" crossing where we found a small log that fell across the creek. We were able to stay dry but thinking back we had used the poles as we crossed and one may have jammed in between rocks; thinking it was lose and the basket at the end of the pole anchored it in rocks. Thinking this may be a rough guess where it would be 34.362695, -93.901061 If anyone else crosses there and happens to see it, please let me know.

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Kade Batey reviewed Eagle Rock Loop
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 12, 2020
HikingGreat!MuddyRocky

Completed in 27 hours counterclockwise. It took 15 hours of actual hiking for 2 average shape guys being prodded by an impatient marathon runner. The Athens-Big Fork section is no joke. Summit #5, Brush Heap Mountain, is the most difficult vertical ascent I've encountered in Arkansas. We had two water crossings where we had to actually take our boots off. The first was where Viles Branch meet the Little Missouri and another 2 miles north of the Viles Branch Crossing. Both were knee high. I recommend not overpacking drinking water for this trip because it is readily available at every section of the trail, but do overpack on food because you'll need the energy to conquer this mileage. I have a deep admiration for the postal workers that used to trek this route for a living because it is as strenuous as it is treacherous.

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Taylor Stoll reviewed Eagle Rock Loop
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 11, 2020
BackpackingFloodedGreat!Over grown

Beautiful! Went on a two day trip with my boyfriend. Absolutely stunning. We are definitely doing this one again.

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Guy P reviewed Eagle Rock Loop
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 7, 2020
BackpackingGreat!

Backpacked this trail with my son on an amazing Fall weekend Oct 30-Nov 1. Long time hikers of the trail said it was one of the best weekends to hike it. Great views at the peaks and in the valleys with the rivers/streams. Exhausting at times but totally enjoyed it. Glad I brought poles... made a difference. Bring water shoes for the water crossings!

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