Explore Broken Bow - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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2 days ago

Wonderful trail, beautiful but not crowded besides the last mile or so before the main park area. Some important things to know- there are plenty of water refill places along the entire trail, so don't waste water weight and carry a filter.
We started at what all trails calls the beginning (on the northern road) and never regretted our decision. Did some night hiking and saw tons of wildlife. The only thing I did not love about this trail was the lack of campsites (understandable, as most day-hike). Otherwise, 10/10. If you're looking for a remote, beautiful, and fairly hilly trail, this is it.

hiking
3 days ago

I’ve already hiked this once and can’t wait to do it again tomorrow. Bring plenty of water because you will need it.
@Ashley Allison- Hate to disagree with you but the trail is clearly marked (look at all the reviews) and it’s easy to follow as well. Perhaps you didn’t look hard enough.

trail running
6 days ago

The Nix Creek Trail in Texarkana, Arkansas is an outstanding 2.5 mile trail that is well maintained by the City of Texarkana, AR. This views along the trail are some of the best in Texarkana. The trail is slightly uphill from south to north and is 10 feet wide asphalt. Every year in February we hold our our half marathon and runners come from all the country due to being able to run one half in two states. Additional wide sidewalks are being added in the Trail north of Arkansas Blvd. On Arkansas Blvd there is a great trail head with adequate parking. Please give this a try asap.

trail running
6 days ago

Bringle Lake has five miles of trail completed with two miles under development..The trail varies in width but is generally 8-10 feet wide. It is perfect for running, walking, and bike riding(mountain). It is dog friendly and a very peaceful walk in Nature. Some of the views around the spillway are over the top great.
In the near future this trail will cross University, crossing the campus of Texas A & M University of Texarkana. Once completed, this will be an outstanding seven mile loop trail. There is also a separate mountain bike trail that is getting lots of usage by locals.

hiking
7 days ago

Awesome scenic trail! Starts off across the road from dogwood campground. Park on the side of the road. You will see a big sign that says David Boren Trail and that is the trail head. Big hill to start with rewarding views! Trail continues up and down the ridges multiple small stream crossings plenty of water in early spring not so much in late summer and fall. Lots of good views and a nice water fall along bee creek. When you reach the river follow it north to the spill way which is the end of the trail. When you finish hitch a ride back to the trail head or road walk the mile and a half back. I’ve done this trail twice and it took me 7 hours at a comfortable pace.

hiking
9 days ago

Never found the actual trail. Several people asked if we knew where the trail started too and no one seemed to find it? Not marked at all. We were really bummed- drove out 3 hours for a trail that we read as a great trail but couldn’t even find it! Good thing we already knew Broken Bow enough to go to get pizza and shop around.

My husband and I hiked this loop in two days. We got the summits knocked out the first day. The 5th summit is by far the hardest depending on which direction you start. If you have the time you should camp out on top of one of the mountains. They each have a campsite set up and the views are amazing (and the only part of the entire loop where you get some cell service). We hiked the first part of August and there was always a great breeze....never too hot. The Little Missouri trail had some areas we got turned around and was not marked very well but beautiful views. You definitely need water shoes!! Make sure you have great shoes...the majority of the trail is over rocks so your feet will be sore! Beautiful hike and highly recommend

trail running
1 month ago

Amazing trail run. I only did the southern loop which ended up being longer than I had guessed (8.5 miles). Lots of vertical (1900+ according to Strava) and a bunch of options to stop and cool off in cool running water. Well marked most of the time, there are just a few short stretches where it’s a tad tough to follow. I only saw 4 other people during the whole loop. I’d come back again to this area just to run this trail.

beautiful and challenging. well worth the trip.

Great trail. Took the dog and a toddler without issue.

hiking
1 month ago

There were numerous spots where we had to cross streams. At one point near the end, we were staring across a river at the spot where the trail continued... on the other side.

backpacking
1 month ago

A beautiful loop plenty of water great camping spots! If it your first time dont underestimate this trail it’s a tough one. I am definitely doing it again!!

hiking
1 month ago

Excellent beginners trail, nice and wide with several other trails to pick from including one along the lakes edge. Nice view of lake on north side on spillway. Has a playground and volleyball court and picnic areas. Very impressed!

backpacking
1 month ago

The reviews of this trail range wildly. But if you go no further than these two sentences the take home is that it’s not that difficult and the stream crossing are easy.

I went at the beginning of June and while it got warm in the afternoon most of the hike is shaded anyway so it didn’t matter much. I started at the trail head Little Missouri/Athens Fork junction at 8:00am. I hiked counter clockwise so I did the ridges first. While they weren’t easy the only one that’s challenging is Brush Heap.

First night I camped alongside the creek on the eastern portion (about 11.6 Miles from my start) of the Viles Branch Horse Trail. Arrived around 3:00pm.

I was going to camp a second night but the remaining sections of the trail were very straightforward and easy. I did lose the trail a couple of times at two of the stream crossings but found it quickly. I ended up hiking through this last day. Started at 9am and was back at the Missouri/Athens Fork trail head around 4:00pm.

backpacking
1 month ago

The reviews of this trail range wildly. But if you go no further than these two sentences the take home is that it’s not that difficult and the stream crossing are easy.

I went at the beginning of June and while it got warm in the afternoon most of the hike is shaded anyway so it didn’t matter much. I started at the trail head Little Missouri/Athens Fork junction at 8:00am. I hiked counter clockwise so I did the ridges first. While they weren’t easy the only one that’s challenging is Brush Heap.

First night I camped alongside the creek on the eastern portion (about 11.6 Miles from my start) of the Viles Branch Horse Trail. Arrived around 3:00pm.

I was going to camp a second night but the remaining sections of the trail were very straightforward and easy. I did lose the trail a couple of times at two of the stream crossings but found it quickly. I ended up hiking through this last day. Started at 9am and was back at the Missouri/Athens Fork trail head around 4:00pm.

hiking
2 months ago

Good Day hike! I enjoy the views from this trail.

2 months ago

A satisfying walk in a beautiful part of the state. Lots of ups and downs, but nothing technically challenging. All you need is a water bottle with a filter—you’ll never be more than an hour or so of hiking from a stream or river to fill up. We brought water shoes, but we didn’t need them: the streams have easy places to cross without getting wet.

My one complaint is that the trail is not a full loop. You have to walk on the road for a mile and a half or so to connect the two ends (regardless of whether you do the northern loop or not—we didn’t think it’d be worth it because it seems to put you right next to the highway).

I brought my German Shepherd and she loved every minute. 9 miles took us 5 hours at what felt like a relaxed pace; I was surprised that my calves felt a bit sore that night from all the hills.

This was a great trail, but next time I go to Beaver’s Bend I think I’ll kayak instead!

hiking
2 months ago

Sublime; the perfect trail in every way.

We did the full loop at a relaxed pace early summer. You don’t need to worry about drinking/carrying too much water, as you’re able to fill up very frequently. It’s worthwhile to camp by the river or a stream both nights.

backpacking
2 months ago

Loved it! It’s a good 2 nighter. Or if you want to run a marathon do it in one day!

walking
2 months ago

I love this place. Always have for years! Don’t forget to pick up a trash bag to pick up any litter. Usually a clean park. Trails are fun. Rocks are beautiful.

backpacking
2 months ago

This was my first time doing the ERL. Conditions were partly cloudy skies, light wind, and highs in the upper 80s. The river height at Langley read 3.27 ft. I hiked solo and my pack weight w/ 2 L of water was 27 lbs. I started around 8 am Friday and was back at my car around 6:30 pm Saturday.

I started at the Little Missouri Falls Trailhead and decided to do it clockwise as the elevation profile of Brush Heap Mountain is less intimidating going this way. The Little Missouri trail is beautiful and not terribly challenging other than needing good balance for stream crossings. Trekking poles are a must for balance unless you want to take a lot of unintentional dips in the river. There is a bit of a climb after the Albert Pike recreation area, but not too bad. The river crossing near the VB/LMR junction that is wet year-round has an island in the middle and is a great place to stop and take a dip in the river to cool off.

The Viles Branch horse trail was the least memorable part of the trail. It is fairly rocky at points and poorly blazed/difficult to follow. I saw just one snake the whole time, a water moccasin, near a creek crossing on this portion of the trail. I stopped and made camp at the SW corner of loop near the junction of the VB and ABF trails. There are a ton of camp sites along the trail and most appear to be frequently used and nice and flat. Most are within 25 ft of water. The amount of trash I saw at camp sites was disappointing though, and it was worse at campsites close to trailheads. I'll never understand hiking in with your heavy bud light, but being too lazy to carry the empty cans out.

I hiked out the next morning with fresh legs and hit the ridges on the ABF trail almost immediately. They are indeed pretty strenuous, but should be manageable for most people. Despite some areas with newly downed trees, this section of the trail was the easiest to follow. There is abundant water in all the valleys. Do the Vista trails on the two southern ridges. The views are awesome!

This is a great weekend trail and I may try to make a point of trying to do it once a year now. I'd do it with cooler weather next time though. By mid-May, the heat/humidity can really put a strain on you from about 1-4 pm. The trails are just starting to get overgrown in some sections and combined with poor blazing in some areas, it would be very easy to lose the trail frequently by early June. If you want isolation, try to do this trail in the middle of the week. I only saw a half dozen people on the trail Friday, but saw at least 3 dozen on Saturday, mostly large groups.

Do yourself a huge favor and download the Arkansas Hiker app and pay $5 for the ERL map. Keep your phone in airplane mode and it'll last forever. Every time you lose the trail, and you will several times, it'll help you get back on track.

hiking
2 months ago

We (two - - age 40-something adults) set out to take the Skyline Trail; because of the washed out bridge, we walked 1.5 miles on the road and entered the trail at Cedar Bluff Trail as it was part of Skyline (not marked as such only knew cuz of this app). Followed the ‘red hiker’ signs marked on trails. Some areas were confusing as to which way to go so we had to use the map on this app and did some back-tracking. Took us 5.5 hours and we were constantly moving.
I would recommend bringing 3 or more water bottles for sure. It was a lot of fun. Challenging. But not too bad!

Trail has been popular on my visits. I meet 4 different sets of hikers on the last hike. This seems like a lot on trails in Arkansas.

Viles Branch isn’t clearly marked in some
spots and the trIal webs in a couple of places.

On Athens Big Fork most climbs are not bad. At 500 feet is when I start feeling a climb in my legs and most mountains are done at 500 (couple are not). Basically if you are climbing down or from a creek the climb will be longer and tougher.

General info: Take time hike the spurs. They offer good views. I would drop the hiking boots and go with trail runners since trail offers so many river and creek crossings. Plenty of campsites.

hiking
2 months ago

Absolutely loved it. I had no idea it existed!! Will be going again. :-)

Great trail for any hiker. Short trail with beautiful views.

2 months ago

great trail with amazing views. there is a couple places along the trail that are poorly marked or not marked and have multiple trails which make it difficult to ensure your on the right trail with out walking down the trail a little ways

backpacking
3 months ago

27.3 miles. Started at Winding Stairs parking lot around 6:15 pm Friday, hiked clockwise and finished up at noon on Sunday. Climbs are strenuous which is made even worse by no switchbacks. Every ascent is straight uphill. I don't get it. WARNING: there are many side trails that aren't marked. Blazes can be spotty so it is very easy to go down the wrong trail. Viles Branch is the worst leg for not being well marked. Another difficult portion with few blazes is the leg between Albert Pike and Winding Stair. Water is plentiful. Ran into a Copperhead on Viles Branch and a couple rattlesnakes at Spirit Rock Vista. Watch your step! Eagle Rock Vista is the best view of the entire hike and not far off the main trail. When we went it was foggy but you won't want to miss it on a clear day!

3 months ago

One of my favorite backpacking loops. It's not an easy hike(I've seen grown Men cry on this loop) If you're up for a challenge the pay off is well worth it! Plenty of water crossings so you dont have to pack out a lot of water ♡ just pump as you go, stunning views, wildlife galore and it's a loop!
2 or 3 day hike depending on hiking experience/ability.
You should know that there is No phone service on this trail and I have only seen a Ranger two times out of the 14 times I've done this loop so once you're out there, you're on your own :) that's one of the many reasons I LOVE this Loop!

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