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Great hike for December 2 weather! Beautiful scenery and camping at the Top of mountain. They have 3 cabins and a lodge. Ice cream at the Top!

18 days ago

This is a great trail for getting out on a short day hike. We’ve taken the kids, the 9 & 6 year old did great. The 3 year old rode in a carrier & was over it about mile 3 but he prevailed. Ha! It’s got a great stopping spot for snacks & a breather at the lake.

backpacking
23 days ago

The trail is nice and well marked. It's easy to access from northwest arkansas. We hiked it clockwise and camped at the primitive camping sites arpund 9.5 miles. i think there were 6 primitive campsites and everyone of them was occupied. It was not awful but i think its worth knowing you wont be the only one on the trail.

backpacking
24 days ago

Great trail. I liked clockwise the best.

A friend and I backpacked this 11/9-10, starting at the Holt Rd trailhead and going clockwise. This is a nice hike with great camping spots along the way.
This direction was hard on my knees, especially the final downhill into Lee Creek.
I hiked this again 11/17 starting from the main trailhead and going counterclockwise. I did the whole trail in just under 7 hours and going cc was much better on my knees as I am stronger uphill hiking. The trail is well blazed and has many interesting sights along the way.

backpacking
1 month ago

Butterfield Hiking Trail 10-11 Nov 2018

Hiked the BHT clockwise doing an overnight. Weather was great with lows in the high 20s and highs in the mid 40s. No bugs, snakes or ticks. Foliage was about a week or two past peak.
Prep: No specific prep for this hike.
Hike: This hike is could be moderate or could be strenuous depending on how you hike and your experience level. The trail is generally easy to follow with sufficient blazes. Follow the natural line of drift and you shouldn't go too far off the trail. The only potential issue is where you may end up on another trail that crosses the BHT. If that's the case and you stop seeing the blazes retrace your steps and you'll be fine. There are mile markers, but while useful for landmarks, I would not take the actual distance as gospel. You will go 35 minutes to cover a mile while and with similar terrain and pace the next mile will be 15 minutes. There are some places where the trail is rocky, not as in you climb up rocks but a bunch of brick sized rocks littering the ground. Throw in the leaves covering the trail and this could be tough if you have knees or ankles that susceptible to being tweaked. I didn't use poles but some in my party really needed them to avoid bodily damage.

You need to stop by the visitor center and they will log you in and give you a parking pass for your car if you are overnighting. They will give you a copy of a sketch map and talk through any nonintuitive areas of the trail (get to the start, and the finish). With the map and a simple compass you are set as the trail is fundamentally a box bounded by two creeks. Once you start there is a some incline as you head up the ridgeline until about mile 2.5. You run the highground for a while and then by about mile 5 you are back by the creek. Once you pass mile 7 the trail becomes covered with the brick sized rocks. I edged up to the west (up the slope a bit) to see if conditions improved but they didn't. Around mile 9.5 the trail goes up and there is one chute of about 20m where you need to use your hands (about mile 10) but I wouldn't really call it a scramble. Then the trail rides the ridgeline. A little past mile 13 you have a downslope that gets you down the ridge and then you are at the creek. There is caution tape where the trail is closed by slide. Go about 50m left (as you face the creek) and there are some rocks where you can cross. If the water level is higher I could see getting your feet wet. After that another .5 mile and you are back at the parking lot.

Camping Sites: The great thing about this park is that there are primitive camp sites sprinkled throughout. Some are set along the creeks and some are in the higher ground. There are good concentrations about mile 5 and mile 9.5 (Junction Creek). We stayed at Junction Creek. It sits about 400m off of the main trail and the intersection to the trail that leads to it is marked. Previous campers have made 7-8 fire circles, stone furniture etc and there was plenty of deadfall to make a nice fire. About 5 groups ended up camping in the area. If you are looking for complete privacy JC isn't the place for you (at least on a weekend).

Gear: Standard overnight gear. Some reviews reported water resupply was an issue but you are near creeks for a lot of the route and the water levels looked good at this time of year. I used about 3l including camp stuff and rehydrating meals.

Additional notes: Check and see when hunting season is. We found out it was going on when we checked in. The visitor center will give you a flourescent vest to throw on your pack but the savvy folks brought a blaze hat or something similar. A lot of the trail in in the Forest where hunting is permitted and not the park . While we did not see any hunters you can hear them shooting fairly often so you know they are there.

There are some caves in the park but currently they are closed due to some disease that the bats are getting. If caving is your thing call the park for updates.

Overall a good hike with great camping opportunities.

hiking
1 month ago

The trail is OK at the best. We got there on Nov 7 and it was 2-3 weeks too late. Leaves are mostly down and it made very rocky trail even less pleasant. But if leaves would be still there - the view has nothing unique or breathtaking about it. If you are going to walk it make sure to give yourself plenty of time especially now, when at 5 pm it is already very dusky and at 6 pm is very dark! If you'll walk it clockwise, decent is very rough and rocky. Makes very unhappy ankles. Very short distance after beginning of decent trail crosses a road. Walk it down till you get to a point of re-entry to the trail. Your ankles and your back will thank you.
Keep in mind that there is no phone/internet service at the trailhead and on most of the trail. LTE was at the top and in a few places on the east side of the trail.

Found myself lost and confused a lot on this trail. I had no idea where I was! I enjoyed it but I don’t really know how to read the map I think

very enjoyable and great overnight trail.

hiking
1 month ago

We went in late October, and the leaves were amazing! Beautiful colors from inside & outside the forest! We did only about 4 miles of the trails, following the Last Call and Crazy Mary routes. Highly recommend!

Very well marked. Hope to do an overnight soon and visit the entire trail.

This is a beautiful trail, especially during Fall and leaf off. We like to go up the West side and down the East but it’s great either way. Park at Redding campground and start directly across from the restrooms behind the campsite. The trail is well blazed and easy to follow. It took us about 5 hours to complete but that was with a long lunch break and some photo stops along the way.

We loved this hike, it was challenging!

very fun hike. started at white rock abbs went down to shores lake. lots of steep narrow ridges. it's a tough hike but my 6 year old boy made it.

backpacking
1 month ago

A good trail with rewarding views at the top. You must put forth an effort to see the views, but that’s why we hike, right? Once you’re at the top make sure to check out the rim trail with great views all around. Rocks here are covered with beautiful, vibrant moss a lichen. There is also a water spigot at the top with clean water if you want to fill up. Do not camp at the top if you are backpacking.

backpacking
1 month ago

A nice walk in the woods. Some nice elevation changes that will get your heart pumping. The highlight of this trail are the fantastic camping spots by the creek. Several have pre-made chairs made from rocks with good back support. The trail has nice rock formations with moss and lichen: typical Ozarks.

Good variety of scenery, autumn leaves are turning gold and a few red. Hiked on a Monday morning, saw 2 mountain bikers and 4 other hikers during my walk. Fairly easy hike, view of the water was very pretty.

A really nice hike. Many great views, the water level is high as a result of the recent rain, but the trail has held up pretty well, waterproof hiking boots helped

trail running
2 months ago

Classic Arkansas Ozarks trail. Went up the east and down the west on a moderately cold (45F) wet October morning. 7.4 mi, 1,390 ft in 2:50. East side is more interesting with a couple of small waterfalls. West side is dryer with more scenic views. Saw 3 white tailed deer. No humans. The west is also easier. I was able to run most of it. About half way the loop connects to the Ozark Highlands Trail right at the Spy Rock Trial. On the Spy Rock long pants recommended. There are a couple of fire rings at Spy Rock, which would be a great place for hammock camping.

Rewarding views around every turn! I started on the southern loop on day 2 but it was an exhausting series of switchbacks so I went back and explored the northern section again. Has everything! Towering bluffs, gurgling creek, plenty of camping spots, 200’ cliff/waterfall (if running). Even a creepy old cabin. Lots of hikers and horses on the northern section but it didn’t feel crowded. Peaceful, serene. I’d go every weekend if I could. Trail was poorly marked in several crucial areas. Expect to cross the river several times.

backpacking
2 months ago

This was a great first overnight backpacking experience for my girlfriend and me. It was long and strenuous enough to test us without being enough to break us.
It was a beautiful walk in the woods. We arrived much later than we intended. Being our first trip, we didn't realize how much preparation time we needed.
The sun had dipped below the horizon by the time we made it to the campsite. Immediately upon arrival, we were invited to the community fire by the NWA Hiking Club. Stories and drinks were shared, and good times were had by all.
The next morning began with breakfast and a light rain. I felt incredible (a symptom of sleeping outdoors), and just wanted to walk. Not finish, but walk. I had to let my legs go. The light rain had awakened and beautified the forest, and my girlfriend and I decided to "hike our own hike". I walked ahead, enjoying walking my own pace and being alone in the woods. The lack of vistas, and the anticlimactic overlook take nothing away from this trail. Walk this trail to be in the forest. To smell the earth and feel its life.

Beautiful walk in the woods.

hiking
2 months ago

Peaceful hike, well worn path and clear. I did the short course. Not much as far as views on the short path. Worth a short trip.

Fun over nighter!

backpacking
2 months ago

This is one of my favorite conditioning hikes to do in the early Fall. I completed it for the 5th time this past weekend. I hike the West side loop and come down the East side. I usually hike past the East side spur trail down the OHT a little further and camp next to Salt Fork Creek making this a wonderful overnighter. The first day you will hike along White Rock Creek which has a beautiful water fall and the 2nd day you will be hiking along Salt Fork Creek although you won't see it much. Be prepared for a lot of ascending on the first day. It's a real good workout! Thanks to the OHTA, too, this past weekend. They had done lots of underbrush weed-whacking so the trail was clear.

backpacking
2 months ago

This was my first backpacking trip and so I might be slightly biased on the rating of 4 stars. It was a great first experience! Though, there were plenty of struggles along the way. My husband, who has been backpacking a few times before, said it was kind of a dud compared to other trips he's been on.

Pros:
*This trail isn't over traveled, especially on the week days. If you're looking to get away and be mostly alone, you won't meet too many people out there.
*There are some sites that were created for backpackers looking to stay in the back country, but you can just as easily create your own campsite and then leave no trace that you were there. One of the spaces that is created for back country camping is said to have Adirondack chairs built out of stone right along a creek that you can swim in. When you get about 2 miles in and reach the first sign on the trail, do not take the trail that goes up the hill, rather take the trail that verges away from the main trail. Not all of our group got to see this site. We camped about half a mile from there, because we didn't know about it. This would have been much preferred, if we had known about it!
*When you do get a chance to see a view of the mountains - it is gorgeous! There's a stretch where you can see the view through the trees right before you come back down the hill to the trail head.
*Wildlife - we didn't see any bears or any signs of bears. We did see a few white tail deer. We did not see any critters - raccoons, opossums, rabbits or squirrels. But there were plenty of bugs: mosquitoes, worms, millipedes, dung beetles, rhino beetles, lots of spiders (big and small), and hoverflies (flies that looks like bees). Spiderwebs on the trails were not very problematic either.

Cons:
*The dirt road to get to this trail is a little difficult in a car - it's a long dirt road, that winds up and down some pretty steep, rocky hills - but it is doable. Most people we saw back there had trucks or SUVs. You know you are starting to get close to the trail head when you have to drive across an area that flows with water. We did this in our car and we were completely fine! However, I would recommend being very careful if you're in a car and it is spring, when the waters may be much higher! There are some people who live back along the road so it appears to be pretty well-maintained. It's a beautiful drive, but definitely be careful driving over the rocks.
*Hiking this trail in the fall meant that water was fairly scarce if you didn't know where to go - as first timers, we didn't really know. Reaching a water source was very important for us and on a couple of different occasions, became a source of some concern. The places on the map where it said you should be crossing water and seeing water, did not have any water the majority of the time. These places were instead extremely rocky and sometimes very slick.
*Around the 3rd mile in, after seeing the sign that can take you to the creek, the main trail starts to climb. It is an uphill trek for what feels like an eternity and for what is really around about a mile. In terms of difficulty, when people say that this trail is moderate, I think the ratings are a bit skewed. The water crossings we did have were not bad! While crossing some of the slick, rocky areas was difficult, it was the uphill climb that made this trail difficult. Anyone seeking to do this trail, needs to know in advance that it is seriously a big heaping helping of SUCK. It's the part of the trail that makes you start to think about why you're doing what you're doing and whether or not it was a good decision to get out there and do it. That's the hill that tests your faith, endurance, and strength. BUT - if I could do it with a 35 pound pack on my back, ANYONE can do it!
*Poison Ivy was prevalent along the trail, as well as, some plants with thorns that overhang the trail.
*One of the main reasons we picked this trail is because we thought we would get to swim in a creek and see the old homesteads and cemetery. We saw some of these sites, but they really didn't end up being all that we had hoped for. It turned out that having a pack on, hiking and toughing it out with friends, setting up and tearing down camp, and just being out in nature was worth way more than the sites we had hoped to see.
*We weren't ready for the trip to end so soon. When we reached the second sign, we got a bit confused about where we were. We walked down the old horse road and ended up back at the car by surprise. We finished a day ahead of schedule. FYI there is ONLY ONE trail head. Take the trail to the right if you want your hike to continue.

There's so much more that could be said - ultimately, it was a great experience and a trail we would recommend, as long as you willing to embrace the suck that comes with the big uphill climb. It's beautiful countryside and well worth the effort and time! Enjoy!

Benches along the way. Well maintained trail.

This was my first ever over night. It was a fantastic 2 days on the trail. beautiful scenery and a great trail to test your skills! Can't wait to do it again.

you can find peace on this trail if you're looking for it. the trail is adventurous and pretty. My dog and I loved it.

hiking
3 months ago

Loved this trail. Beautiful hike. Definitely grab a stick to clear spiderwebs as you you travel.

backpacking
3 months ago

Did this hike in early September. Started around 15:30, hiked in clockwise 3 miles before setting up camp. Most of the water is on this side of the trail, plan accordingly--top off before you begin the ascent. We set out at 7:00 the following morning and made it to the top at 9:00. There is a rim trail at the top that is not included in the 12.7 total, we spend about 90 minutes at the top. If you bring cash there is a general store. The hike down is fairly uneventful, just be mindful of where the OHT branches off--follow the blue blazes. For us most of the water was dried up on this side. Finished up at 14:00. If you have done your math correctly you can see that this hike can very well be done in one day; just start in the morning. The entire hike is very scenic and the view from the top of White Rock mountain is one of the best there is in the Ozarks. I definitely recommend. On a side note, there were a ridiculous amount of stick bugs and horse flies on this hike. Also, things we're INCREDIBLY overgrown this time of year--lots of bushwhacking.

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