The Battle That Saved Missouri For The Union On March 7-8, 1862, 26,000 soldiers fought here to decide the fate of Missouri and the West. The 4,300 acre battlefield honors those who fought for their beliefs. Pea Ridge was one of the most pivotal Civil War battles and is the most intact Civil War battlefield in the United States.

This is a nice walk in the woods, though it's not much a of a "hike." Be warned that, at this time of year, much of the designated hiking trail is overgrown to the point of being impassible. You can stick to the paved road and service roads and still have a nice trek, with the added bonus of some interesting and well-presented history. The open fields and wooden fences make for one of the nicest views in Northwest Arkansas on a clear day. Wildflowers, butterflies, and various birds were abundant on our visit.

As is true everywhere this year, ticks are numerous and ferocious.

There were a few interesting parts, but I've seen way prettier trails and I didn't have to pay to walk them. This trail is part of the Pea Ridge National Military Park and you have to pay $15 just to see any part of the trails or historical sights and the only house that still stands isn't open. You can go up to it, but can't walk through it. Other than that, not a whole lot to see other than open fields, some cannons, and wooden fences.

We didn't walk the whole trail today, just wandered through the field past the cannons, then up to the lookout. We did follow the trail from the lookout, along the ridge - lovely! No issues with tics, and we did scramble through the tall grass and some wooded areas off-trail. I will definitely be back to explore the whole loop.

The tick issues others have reported on is due to deer ticks, wear pantyhose under your garb and use repellent and you'll be fine. Stick to Military Road, paved multi-use road around the park, and ticks are not an issue. My husband and I logged 7.2 miles today (Saturday, 21 JAN 2017) sticking to the road, completing the route in 2.5 hours, which isn't bad considering our age, beat up bodies and general just wanting to enjoy the walk without competing against the clock.

Great for history, not so much for hiking. Make sure to wear tick repellant as this place is INFESTED. every single time I've gone! It IS however a fantastic place to ride loops on the bicycle for training!

Saturday, October 08, 2016

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Enjoyable trail through the beautiful Pea Ridge park landscape of fields and forest. We often see butterflies on the park trails. It would be a nice winter hike too as the trails do have tall grass growing.

Easy trail, lots of history, take your time

More of a walking trail, than hiking. This area has tons of history along the battlefield.

tick infested. 2 steps in 3 ticks. 5 mins in probably over 30. would have been a nice trail had it not been absolutely riddled with ticks.

Monday, February 22, 2016

There is very little buzz on the net about this trail. I am amazed that it is not on everyone's regional "must-do " list.

This is a wonderful, approx. 2 mile loop trail, located in the Pea Ridge National Military Park. This park is lightly visited, but was the site of a pivotal battle of the Civil War in the West. It is supposedly the most intact Civil War battlefield remaining. In addition, this area was witness to other important historical events that shaped our nation.

Many of the trails in this park are shown on maps provided by the Park Service, but are not named. I call this trail the Williams Hollow Trail.

The trailhead is at the Elkhorn Tavern, which was the site of a major skirmish in the battle. This is on the loop drive in the Park, and there is a good parking area. The Tavern itself is very charming, and is surrounded by zigzag split-rail fences and guarded by a battery of cannon. Unfortunately, the tavern has been closed for business for decades.

Heading north, the trail is a road through the forest that has seen a lot of history. Initially it was a military road that connected St. Louis to this region shortly after the Louisiana Purchase, although I suspect it was a trade route even before then. It was then used as part of the Trail of Tears, with thousands of people forced from their homes in the Southeast passing through here on the way to Oklahoma. Later, the Butterfield Overland Stage rattled up this same road, and later still it served as a route of retreat for the defeated Confederate forces.
The trail drops down gradual slope to a creek , where the foundations of a tannery are visible. The water and the oak trees found here provided the tannic acid needed for this labor. At the most northerly extent of this trail, a sign marks the site of a temporary field hospital for the fleeing Confederate army.

The trail turns southeast and ascends a short but moderately steep slope to the top of a plateau. The remainder of the trail is relatively flat. After walking about 3/4 mile through the forest, the trail turns west onto an old road and opens onto a large field on the south. This field and the Clemens house, with the foundation recently excavated, are surrounded by zigzag split rail fences. After another 1/4 mile, the road ends at the Elkhorn Tavern.

I highly recommend this trail. Without the whispers of past events, this would only be a pleasant walk through the woods. But in light of the events that shaped the lives of the soldiers, the Native Americans, and the settlers that passed through here, in my opinion this is an important, 5-star trail