Earthquake Ridge Trail is a 4.4 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Mena, Arkansas that features a great forest setting and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length4.4 miElevation gain633 ftRoute typeLoop
Dogs on leashKid friendlyHikingMountain bikingRoad bikingRunningForestViewsRocky
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Getting There

Earthquake Ridge Trail Loop provides a steep climb, parallel to the Talimena Scenic Drive. Beginner riders may find themselves pushing their bikes for short sections of the steeper climbs. More experienced riders can test their climbing skills on the ascending tight switchbacks. After crossing the highway at the top, a descent back to the lower highway crossing provides time to catch your breath. You can either cross the highway and return to the VIC or continue on to the Southern Loop. The Southern Loop descends with lots of mild turns over varied terrain. This is the newest addition to the trails and provides excellent views of dogwoods in bloom in the spring. A short steep climb out and you have just a short ride back to the VIC. From the VIC you can then take the Fern Loop. A fast trail through the narrowly placed trees to some very tight descending switchbacks and then down to the creek bed. You can then return back to the VIC by way of the gradual ascent over a rocky section or cross over to the Carriage Loop and the Settler Loop by way of a short gradual climb out of the Fern Canyon. The Carriage Loop and Settler Loop provides fairly flat trail with tight and twisty singletrack. This is the easiest section of trail. Beginners may want to ride this section first. Built in what used to be an orchard, it is now regrown with large pine trees. The fairly flat terrain covered with pine needles provides a pleasant ride, and eventually ties into the Earthquake Ridge Trail Loop.

Visitor Center w/restrooms, picnic area, parking lot will accomodate RV's

Ouachita National Forest 100 Reserve Street P.O. Box 1270 Federal Building Hot Springs, AR 71902 (501) 321-5202

7 highway and 88 hwy (Talemina Scenic drive) intersetction In Mena, Arkansas, take 88 hwy west 1 mile to the visitor center on the right. trail heads are on the north side of the visitor center.

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Reviews (82)
Photos (127)
Activities (79)
Completed (115)
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David James
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Hiking
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Tiffany Jordan
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Hiking

Super trail! Nice hike for the kids VERY well maintained and marked!! (Forgot to stop recording hike until we stopped for gas!!)

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Alex Imholz
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FishingGreat!Rocky

great trail, lots of rocks and roots. some areas are steep, will go again!

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Benjamin Anderson
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Hiking
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Lori Mier
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Mountain bikingRocky

Would rate as moderate to hard for MTB almost not worth doing for onewheel

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Neil Robinson
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Hiking

Close to the highway but there are so few cars it’s still nice and quiet. Although at this time of year (March) all the deciduous trees are leafless, that gave us more of a chance to see some obstructed views of the valley. Nice that the three different loops – Earthquake Ridge, Southern Trail, Fern Trail – offer slightly different terrain and flora.

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Terra Turbyfill
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Hiking
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Steve Janssen
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Hiking

Really enjoyed!! Plenty of pine so it was still green and pleasent. ROCKY. No climbing boulders but have to watch your step the entire way. Made it more strenuous. No poison ivy sighted. Numerous trails, some not curated in AT. All blazed with the same color, confusing and we would have ended up on other trails without AT. Took highway to trail head for the last mile or so as we were tired and it was getting cold. Would have logged over 5 miles if we had stayed on trail.

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Rick Brewster
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Hiking

This trail primarily follows the the ridge line and has periodic views of the township in the valley below. The hike today was especially nice as it entailed the leaves turning and falling to the ground.

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Linda Abbott
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Hiking

Just follow the silver (painted on) blazes. Not spectacular views. And I read it as 4 miles. It was just 2.

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Amanda Conkle
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Hiking

Easy trail not much to view. But still good to enjoy nature

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Mohamed Attia
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Hiking
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Jamey Emerson
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Hiking

Great trails! Far less rough and strenuous than most other trails in the area.

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Suellen Smith
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Hiking

gorgeous sights, a bit rocky, but a great hike.

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Dave Johnson
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Hiking

Nice moderate hike under tree cover. A little poison ivy and roots.

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Brennan Leslie
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Hiking

Awesome trail, well maintained. An easy moderate trail. Saw plenty of wildlife and views. There is a lot of poison ivy along the trail

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Charley Kiser
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Hiking

Nice first trail for my visit to Mena, AR and Ouachita National Forest.

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Jason Booze
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Hiking

More on the lighter end of moderate. Very pleasant walk, but nothing particularly remarkable about the trail. LOTS OF POISON IVY along the side in some portions of trail, so prepare yourself accordingly. Trails are well marked, however, some of the trail intersections can be a tad confusing. If you stay with the AT map you’ll be fine. Also note that you will cross the road a few times and a couple of those crossings require you to go over a low guard rail.

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randy walker
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Hiking

Great hiking trail very well-maintained the paved portion is very interesting historically.

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Jeff Judkins
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WalkingRocky
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Michelle Adams
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Hiking

Great trail, well maintained

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Linda Green
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HikingRocky

We only did half of this trail and choose to hike it counter clockwise to get the step climb out of the way first. You never venture far from the roadway so it can be noisy. Nice wooded area, trail was VERY rocky. Saw no other visitors even though the parking lot area was full. Will definitely go back to finish up the other portion of this loop.

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Vernelle Potter
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HikingRocky

This trail is rate moderate, but I completed it today as my first-ever hike. Beginners don’t be afraid to give this one a go!

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Jeff Judkins
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Mountain biking

Moderate is not correct. . Tough, rocky, steep, tight switchbacks, slippery on the edge with all pine straw. Just sayin. For experienced riders, definitely.

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Mark Bennett
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Hiking

Nice loop- not too steep but a nice wooded climb up and back down the ridge. the map includes both a ~2 mile high loop and similar distance low loop, sort of a figure 8 with the trailhead being in the middle, so, there are several chances to stop and call it a day if you need to before completing the full 4.5ish miles. NOTE- lots of poison ivy on and adjacent to trail mid-june 2019, be aware. The trail is well traveled and well marked for the most part, (the intersections are a little confusing but the AT map is sufficient), so, other than dodging poison ivy it’s a very nice loop.

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Jason Knoernschild
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great trail. It was great for a family. I had a 12 and 15 year old with me. They enjoyed it. It had a lot of rocks and a few hills.

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Brent Klein
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As a beginner, the section of trail of I picked was all i wanted. The trail system is very well maintained with minimal obstacles to negotiate. I didn't find any senic overlooks on this ride, but that is not to say there aren't any. I highly recommend this ride for it's easy access right outside of Mena, AR. I will definitely ride it again! ✌

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Brent Klein
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Mountain biking

Quick little jaunt through the trails. Lots of tight turns. Moderate difficulty. Plenty of pump and downhill sections.

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Dylan McCoy
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Good hike... the rocky terrain makes it a little more fun you have to be mindful of your steps.

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