Explore the most popular hiking trails in Lake Fort Smith State Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Nice trail. Took my twelve year old. It was a challenge for him, glad I didn’t take my 6 year old. I wouldn’t mind doing it again sometime.

27 days ago

Not a bad little trail. Well established and connects various other trails in the area. Some dips in the area have protection and moss and fungi--picturesque enough for a photo shoot.

My favorite trails within a day trip from home. It's moderately rugged, follows the water, I often get to see waterfowl, unfortunately sometimes there's noise pollution from motor boat, but mostly it's tranquil. I've been at the far end in the middle of a drizzle, so it was very atmospheric.

Trail should be rated difficult. Trail planning is suspect as it doesn't follow contour of land often. This has a compound effect because the straight up and downs has caused the trail to wash badly. In many places it's like hiking a creek bed due to all the loose rocks. But if you keep your pace slow, it's a very nice hike. It's very pretty, just plan for a more difficult trail than the rating suggests.

1 month ago

It was a nice short trail with a view of lake Fort Smith at one point.

An amazing hike. Tough but well worth the reward at white rock. After hurricane creek be ready for an up hill trek.
Nice camping spot at 12.1 miles.

Hiked this trail in early April with my wife and 3 kids (10, 8, and 7 years old). hiked about 6-7 miles a day. The kids carried all their own stuff and had no problems keeping up. Awesome trip. The trail is well marked and plenty of campsites. The creeks are pretty and require getting your feet wet to cross. And the elevation changes aren't too extreme. White Rock is a great place to end a long hike. Beautiful view!

Great trail along the lake that has a nice loop back to the visitors center at the park.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

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.

Amazing scenery !!

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.

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