Nestled in a scenic valley of the Boston Mountain Range of the Ozark Mountains, this state park offers outdoor adventures including camping, fishing, kayaking, swimming, mountain biking, hiking, and nature study. For backpackers, the park serves as the western terminus of the 165-mile Ozark Highlands National Recreation Trail. Located on the western side of 1,400-acre Lake Fort Smith, this state park features all new facilities including campsites [20 Class AAA and 10 Class B], a group lodge with kitchenette that can accommodate up to 32 persons (16 in each wing), picnic sites, a pavilion, 2,660-square-foot swimming pool with adjacent wading pool and a splash pad, marina with boat rentals, double lane boat launch ramp, hiking trails, playground, and an 8,000-square-foot visitor center with exhibits, meeting/classroom, and an outdoor patio featuring a native stone, wood-burning fireplace and a view towards the lake.

Now Trail exist here and no signs. Please take this off the app.

Loved this trail. Well marked and just the right amount of challenge.

WARNING: There is a lot of poison ivy along the sides of the trail!! But heck, this is the Ozarks, it's everywhere this time of year. That in mind, this is a nice relaxing hike through the woods that offers views of the lake and different rock formations. I only made mention of the poison ivy for those who are allergic to it. Which I am, and I probable would have wore hiking pants since it was a nice day and not too hot. And FYI, you can actually make this a loop hike if you take the Shepherd Springs Loop trail which links towards the beginning and end of this trail. The Shepherd Springs Loop also offers views of different rock formations. Only 4 stars because we save 5 for trails with awesome, spectacular views.

Came back for another rainy day hike, but decided to do the Shepherd Springs Loop. Half of the loop is the Ozark Highlands Trail. There are some nice overlooks on the SS Loop, but there's not much to see this time of year with everything fully leafed out. I'll come back when the leaves are gone to check out the views, but probably not until then.

I think one of the neat things about hiking in Arkansas is one's occasional brushes with the "big" trails here: the Buffalo River Trail, the Butterfield Hiking Trail, and the Ozark Highlands Trail. Deliberately hiking on one of these trails, right where it starts seemed like a proper way to pay homage.

The trailhead is easy to find. There's a large, beautiful trailhead sign to the left of the visitor's center, and then smaller signs later on to make sure you stay on the trail. There are some scrambly, rocky areas, but, for the most part, the trail is level and clear. There's a lot to see: great lake views, a nice little waterfall, two home sites, an old cistern. The spring wildflowers were everywhere on our visit. It was also raining that day, and there were lots and lots of little streams and creeks to cross.

Once you get to the Frog Bayou Creek area, you'll see why this area can be a no-go when the water is high. Two women ahead of us who were thru-hiking managed to cross, but I'm not sure where. Continuing on is certainly an option if conditions are right. Turning back here made for a nice, 6-mile hike.