Explore the most popular dog friendly trails in Ouachita National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

I did the Buckeye trailhead to East Caney Creek trailhead and walked back up the road to Buckeye. This was an exhausting 8hr hike, I took many breaks and explored the sites.
This is also one of the best trails I have done, from the views, waterfall, creek crossings, wildlife, and solitude. I will say, all of the down trees on the path made the going tough sometimes, but provided excellent resting spots. I would start this trip well before noon if you want to make it out before dark.

this trail is not for the faint of heart.. but it truly is an amazing trail... like all the other comments...I suggest you take water as there is none from the trailhead to Katy falls... were asking the way you can see several breath taking views... VERY nice trail.. yes there is a couple of spots that have you walking threw under brush... but very worth it... I will be doing this trail again with better prep... underestimated this trail... so you should always read the reviews... LoL.. loved it..

Great hike. Tougher than I expected. We wished we’d brought more water. The view on the top of the mountain is breathtaking. My son and I are exploring the area as we prepare for our first backpacking adventure.

Like a few others i did the Buckeye Trail down to Caney Creek and then east on the Caney Creek trail over one night. This was toward the end of march, high 60;s outside which was perfect. Make sure you have plenty of water because after the Buckeye trailhaid there is no water till you get to caney creek. I parked at the Caney Creek Trailhead and walked the extra mile back up the road to the Buckeye trailhead. once you get to caney creek and you want to camp stay right at the fork and keep the river to your left for about .15 miles or so and you will find a clearing to camp at. There were plenty of other campsites to stay at as well that people made themselves but they werent in a designated camping area. The hike out of Caney Creek was amazing and super relaxing. Most of it following next to the creek and pretty easy going. Lots of water along the way and a easy 4 miles out.

We paired this trail with the caney creek trail for a nice one night backpacking loop. We parked our car at the east caney trailhead and walked about a mile up the gravel road to the buckeye trailhead. Both trailheads are well marked and have plenty of parking. The buckeye is rated as moderate and I believe that is an accurate description. It’s has some decent climbs but nothing too taxing or that lasts for too terribly long. I read where others had some issues following the trail but we didn’t experience any of this. This may be due to the time of year we went which had decreased underbrush. The views along the ridge of the buckeye were vast and the rock formations along this and the caney were impressive. There’s a few good areas to stop and rest or have a snack. Be sure to pack all the water you will need as there is no water for filtering along the ridge. We hiked about 4.5 miles on the trail (not including the 1 mike hike to the trailhead) and arrived at Katy falls. We ended up camping at a spot above the falls and up the stream a bit. It was secluded and peaceful with a nice fire ring and the stream near by for a water source. The falls were a great place for our dog to swim in the pool below and a great place to hang out for lunch. After a good nights rest we joined up with the caney creek trail and headed east. We passed several nice campsites, both near the stream, where the trails merge. The caney creek trail passed through a beautiful forest area and was near the stream for the majority of the hike. There were several campsites along this portion of the trail as well. As with the buckeye, there were a few areas with some elevation gain but nothing too severe. It’s a shady area for the most part unlike the ridge of the buckeye which could also get a bit breezy. After about 4 miles we were at the east caney trail head and at the end of our hike. This was our first time to this area and we can’t wait to go back again.

In my opinion, this is the best one night loop trail in Arkansas. Big views, great campsites, water features, light traffic. I would warn any prospective hikers that there are no blazes on the trail. If you aren't a competent navigator, you will struggle. Also, getting to Katy Falls is challenging if you don't want to get wet. It's approximately 0.25 miles off trail, up Katy Creek.

camping
4 months ago

Easy hike. I took my 9 year old and 7 year old, each carried a 20 pound pack each, they had no problems. We went in late November. Trail was very well marked with white rectangles painted on trees. The trail had a very "slippery" spots with all the leaves that had fallen off trees. No bugs, other than LOTS of spiders.

backpacking
5 months ago

Troop 99 easy hike for first year scouts loop trail and sleep in OT trail shelter great

great fun

It was great simple hike. It was easy enough for our 7 year old to handle.

When others say the trail is somewhat overgrown I'm assuming they had a better experience than we did. Haha. We went over labor day weekend and the buckeye trail was so overgrown! There were weeds that were taller than me and I'm 5'7. And talk about burning all your energy, wading through a sea of grass and weeds with your 30lb pack. It was quite comical. We even came across someone that was totally off the trail where it turns to the south to go down to caney creek. If we hadn't been there at that time who knows how long the guy would've been lost and the sun was going down fast at that point. Also when coming from buckeye trailhead, about a quarter to half mile the trail comes to somewhat of a fork. One way is straight ahead of you, the other looks like a switch back. Luckily I had read somewhere to not take that "switchback" it's goes to an old mine or something. It took us all of 5 hours to get from buckeye trailhead down to the creek. We camped by the creek and the caney creek trail part was a breeze compared to buckeye. Overall it was an okay trail but in March we did trails in ponca and had to do the same amount of effort for much greater reward.

Hiked this trail Labor Day weekend with my dog. It was a decent trail with nice views. It might be a better trail in the fall/winter when the brush has all died down. There was a ton of bushwhacking to be be done and the trail was extremely tough to follow at certain times. Fortunately my dog kept me on the trail for the most part.

This trail had some spectacular views but was very rugged. The first few miles of the trail was overgrown with the bushes over my head and it was easy to lose the trail and follow a game trail instead. Be aware of what direction you should be heading though and you should be fine, using the map on AllTrails really helped. I will definitely do this one again in a few months!

Overgrown hard to stay on trail.

hiking
10 months ago

Beautiful hike in the woods that is well worth the sweat! Trail is well kept and marked clearly. Ground cover is mostly poison ivy, stay on the path. Lots of super small ticks, spray spray spray!

Wonderful trail, fantastic views, and lots of wildlife (saw a Western Diamondback rattlesnake!). Only downside is that the trail is very overgrown and poorly marked, but it's manageable for the most part, especially for experienced hikers.

Great Hike. Encountered around 400 lb. Black bear about mile 3. Beginners be aware of your surroundings.

hiking
Wednesday, April 12, 2017

I night hiked this trail and it was amazing. It actually is a loop trail if you take a short mile walk down the main road between Caney Creek and Buckeye Mountain. The strength of this trail is definitely Buckeye Mountain; if you're into a day hike, I'd recommend doing that as an out and back. I started from Buckeye Mountain and the trail was basically a 45 degree incline for the first 1.5-2 miles. It's rough. The views from the top of the mountain are incredible though. I actually had cell phone service for the mile or two before I started my descent. I set up my hammock and took a nap where Katy Creek meets Caney Creek. From there I lost my trail; the trail isn't marked and is a bit overgrown. After you hit the creek, the hike is cake, basically just rolling hills and crossing over the creek occasionally.

hiking
Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Had a great hike and camp here. Spring is a great time to visit.

on Womble Trail

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Love this trail. Beautiful scenery. Some steep spots but well worth it for the views. I've done whole trail now

hiking
Sunday, April 09, 2017

Lots of switchbacks as we took the trail starting on the left side to ascend quickly up to the lookout. Glad I had a hiking stick with me. Lots of poison ivy.

backpacking
Sunday, March 26, 2017

We had the best time. Our dog was happy and so were we. Make sure you have plenty of water if you start at Buckeye Trail head. You have to get down the mountain before you have access to water.

Very moderate. Campsites everywhere. Little traffic. Water tastes very clean.

Good trail with great views!

on Womble Trail

hiking
Monday, February 13, 2017

I've been from North Fork Lake to Hwy 270. Enjoyed every step. Love looking out off the top of Gaston Mtn. Haven't seen anyone else on the trail yet but have seen some sign of people being there before me. Can't wait to do some more of it.

backpacking
Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Great beginner trek. Made the mistake of trying to take on a rainy weekend, ended up having to walk back to my car in pitch black heavy fog while getting completely soaked (it was a learning experience).

off road driving
Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Wolfpen has not added more trails as the previous review stated. They have steadily been removing trails from the system. That's why a low star rating. Plus the trails are now closed Nov. through February. The trails system is also primarily for ATV riding. Huge tourism draw for the area which led to all the cabins near the trail. Favorite trails are 3,8, and 6. Improvements being made are making for a less primitive trail system and more like roads.

My girlfriend and I recently backpacked this trail on a clear weekend in November. The views are beautiful and the trail isn't too difficult as long as you are in decent shape. If you are considering hiking this trail I HIGHLY suggest you read the narrative on ouachitamaps.com and bring a map of course. These resources will help you navigate the trail as there are no signs or mile markers like other trails. However, this trail is well worn and not easy to lose. We parked and started at the Caney Creek trailhead but we hiked a mile up the gravel road to the Buckeye trailhead in order to do both trails as a 9 mile loop. The Buckeye Trail offers stunning views. We hiked 5.6 miles the first day and set up camp at Katy Falls which was spectacular also. We replensished our water there at camp and the water was very clear. The Buckeye/Caney Creek Trail junction is about another tenth of a mile south of the Katy Falls spur trail. We did the Caney Creek Trail back to our car the following day.

hiking
Sunday, November 27, 2016

Great hike, well marked trail. At the beginning we went up to vista first, steep hike up and am glad did this first. Was a cloudy day and view was limited. Hunting season and later found out is recommended to wear orange hat for safety.

hiking
Monday, November 14, 2016

Close to home so have hiked many times. Very well marked and always a great hike.

backpacking
Sunday, November 06, 2016

Great trail that offers a challenge without crushing you. We started on Caney Creek westbound and turned north then east back to Buckeye Mountain trail head. With only one car we walked from there down the gravel road to the Caney Creek TH where we parked. There is camping available throughout the trail.

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