North Sylamore Creek Trail is a 22.8 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Big Flat, Arkansas that features a waterfall 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.

Length22.8 miElevation gain2,900 ftRoute typePoint to point
Dogs on leashBackpackingCampingHikingNature tripsWalkingForestRiverViewsWaterfallWildflowersWildlifeRocky
Description
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Facilities
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Getting There

Five sections/six trailheads (southeast to northwest): Allison mile-0, Blanchard Springs Recreation Area mile 4.7, Gunner Pool Recreation Area mile 10, Barkshed Recreation Area mile 14, Cole Fork Road primitive trailhead mile 18.6, primitive trailhead Cripple Turkey Road (junction with Ozark Highlands Trail) mile 23. This delightful trail begins (SE terminus) near the White River at Allison, follows Sylamore Creek and tributaries 23 miles to a junction with the regional Ozark Highlands Trail (32 mile trail skirting the Leatherwoods Wilderness). The two trail networks combine for 55 miles of spectacular scenery, with off-trail bushwhacking to waterfalls and geologic curiosities. One of the finest and most scenic trails in Arkansas, and the whole southern U.S. This trail closely follows scenic Sylamore Creek, except when ascending ridges and limestone bluffs for memorable vistas of rugged Ozarks hills and hollows rolling to the horizon. Spring is emerald green with dogwoods, wildflowers and mayapples; autumn colors are spectacular, winter snow and icicles along Sylamore Creek are picturesque. Sylamore Creek is clear as glass, with gravel bottom and blue pools. Backpack camping is permitted along the trail, fee camping at the three developed campsites. Blanchard Springs Recreation area (park) is the site of Blanchard Springs Caverns, one of the best commercial caverns in America, operated by the US Forest Service.

Fee-based camping at three US Forest Service recreation areas with trailheads. Backpacking is free and permitted along the trail and in the rugged backcountry of the Ozark National Forest. - Three developed campground trailheads, with bathrooms, picnic tables and camping at Blanchard Springs, Gunner Pool, and Barkshed Recreation areas. - Three primitive trailheads with no facilities: Allison (southeast terminus), Cole Fork Road, and Cripple Turkey Road (NW terminus).

Sylamore Ranger District, P.O. Box 1279, Mountain View, AR, 72560, (870) 269-3228 www.fs.fed.us/oonf/ozark

Directions from Mt. View: Turn north from Ark. 14 to Forest Road 1112. Eastern terminus: Turn right off Ark. 14, approximately 1/2 mile after turning west at the intersection of Ark. 14 and 5 at the community of Allison. Low traveled gravel road turns right off 14 in outside of first curve, as road starts up hill. Follow signs to trailhead for 1/2 mile on gravel road. Trailhead sign stands in the middle of an old pasture. The trail begins to the left and behind the sign, down by the creek bank.

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Reviews (161)
Photos (379)
Recordings (112)
Completed (292)
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Taylor Parkinson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 6, 2020
Hiking

Great trail! I hiked this trail the last weekend in November. We went from Allison trailhead to Barkshed which is about 14 miles. Starting at Allison meant we had to cross the creek first thing so I ended up getting my feet wet. That was the only time though. Hiked 5 miles to Blanchard, stopped for lunch, then another 4.5 to gunners pool. We stayed the night at gunners pool campground. I think it was about $10 stay there. We hiked the rest of the trail the next morning. The trail was great! It was marked really well. Didn’t have any trouble staying on the trail. We did not see any wild life nor did we have the spider issue(thank goodness bc I have dealt with that before) that was mentioned in an earlier comment. So it was definitely a good time of the year to go! I would highly recommend the trail. Lots of views of the creek and bluffs along the way.

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Mick Haven
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 8, 2020
BackpackingGreat!

Went from Cripple Turkey to Allison on 11/1-2. Road into Cripple Turkey is slightly rough for smaller cars. Trail is well marked and blazed in blue frequently. Not a ton of scenery due to the trees. Easy access to water thanks to the numerous recreation areas along the creek about every 5 miles. Pit toilets even available at Barkshed, Gunner Pool and flush toilets at Blanchard. Trail seems to be most scenic between Blanchard and Allison with great views of the creek and great rock formations.

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James McNair
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarNovember 6, 2020
Hiking

We just did a short stretch from Blanchard Springs

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Bev Munstermann
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 22, 2020
Hiking
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Bev Munstermann
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 21, 2020
Hiking
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Bev Munstermann
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 20, 2020
Hiking
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Andrew Moore
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 26, 2020
HikingBugsOver grown

This is a beautiful trail that tested me in many areas. I hiked this trail last Saturday, September 26. First, if you are following Google Maps to the trailhead, do not go down the first road that it recommended to me. It wasn't really a road more like a walking trail. I didn't think I was going to make it back up in an SUV and there wasn't enough room to turn around so I reversed all the way back up the hill, getting out, and then moving branches and obstacles that could have easily popped a tire and stranded me with zero cell phone service. I luckily made it, but if you have a smaller car don't even think about it. Just follow the road to the actual sign that indicates a trail is there and ignore Google. Would recommend a big car for that as well. Now, on the trail itself there was a spider infestation. I came in contact with hundreds of spiders. Every five steps and along every branch, tree limb, or bush were webs and spiders ranging from tiny black babies to large orange and green spotted ones that were impossible to miss. The webs were spun at eye level and others around your midsection and legs right on the trail. It is inevitable that spiders will get all over you, especially your face. I should have just turned around, but I don't think I realized how bad the infestation was until the next morning when the sun was at its peak. I'm lucky that I only walked away with a few spider bites on my right arm and hand. Although unlikely, there are still poisonous spiders in that region of the Ozarks that although wouldn't want to harm us would do so as a defense mechanism. And as much as I tried to avoid destroying their environment, you can't help to intrude on them since every inch is covered with webs and spiders. Often, you'd avoid one and then four more would fall right on to your face. Second, don't underestimate the thickness of the vegetation and the wild animals living in this area. I solo hiked/backpacked overnight and a large animal (probably a boar but maybe a bear) came up right against my tent around 3 in the morning and then got startled and circled around my camp for about a half hour. Whatever I could have had that could have an attracted an animal was half a mile away hung up high in a tree. All I had was a knife so if you're staying in the back country come better prepared with bear spray and serious defenses. The trail itself is beautiful and challenging with ranging inclines and large rock formations and caves along the sides. Often, these large formations form waterfalls. I didn't complete this trail because my body was so beat after the first 8 miles (I think from the stress of the spiders and other insects all over my body and hyperfocusing to try and avoid as many as possible). I would come back at another time (like the winter) to complete this because I am curious about the beauty that lies ahead. My advice is to learn from my stupidity and make better choices. Come prepared, enjoy, and stay safe!

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Colton Baker
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 8, 2020
Backpacking

Good trail. Trail Maintenance had just been done and the new gravel tore up dogs paws, had to end early.

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Sarah Otey
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 8, 2020
HikingBugsGreat!
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Nathan Arnold
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 9, 2020
BackpackingBugs

Awesome trail, enjoyed backpacking it a lot, but I have to reiterate what a few others have said about the ticks on the trail. I underestimated the ticks because the ones I've come across in my life were nothing like the ones I encountered here. My girlfriend and I ended up having to cut our trip short because she ended up getting no less than 200 little seed ticks all over her feet and legs. They're extremely hard to see and can easily make it through small holes in shoes as well as socks. Their bites are about the same as those of chiggers and are miserable. Be very prepared for ticks otherwise it will be a miserable time.

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Freddy Gann
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 2, 2020
HikingGreat!

This is one of my favorite trails, mainly because its pet friendly. My last visit was on August 2nd 2020. We started out hike at Gunner Pool and hiked toward Barkshed for a day hike. We hiked this trail several times and it never disappoints us. I do have a huge gripe though. I received a ticket from the park Ranger due to me parking my car at Gunner Pool area. I was not parked around any camping area but received a ticket for parking in a pay day use area. There is no designated parking spot for the trail that ive ever seen. So where do you part is a mystery. Heres my big problem...when we pulled in and parked, a Ranger was parked i say 50 foot from me. He watched us get out of the car, pack up, and hit the trail. After we leave the car area, he leaves us a tickdt on our car. Unexceptable if you ask me. The trails are free. Put a sign up that says, "trail head parking." Problem fixed, but this is absolutely wrong.

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Jack Glaeser
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 31, 2020
BackpackingBugs

Great views! A lot of ticks and mosquitos. Overall the best hike I’ve been on in arkansas

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Jenna Jimenez
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 9, 2020
Hiking

I loved this trail! We backpacked it to Gunner Pool then on to connect to the OHT. Beautiful!

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Rebecca Miller
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 13, 2020
Hiking

The Gunner pool end of this trail is a lot prettier than the Blanchard end. Forestry had just mowed the whole trail, so it was a pleasant hike. Still a few ticks though, so make sure you're packing some spray. Really nice swimming hole when the creek runs along the trail, about 2 miles in from Gunner. Was very refreshing. According to GPS, trail is about a mile and a half longer than what the maps say. Still worth the hike.

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Rosemary Haddock
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 7, 2020
Hiking

Hiked from the Barkshed trailhead to Blanchard Springs this past weekend and it was beautiful. Lots of ticks this season so wear long pants. Some very special hidden swimming areas along the trail that are worth exploring- would be a great trail to bring kids along.

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holly best parker
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 31, 2020
Hiking

Rec areas are open now so we opted to head out early on a Friday from Gunner Pool to Barkshed (perhaps). First overnight for our 8 and 2.5yo kiddos- both hauling gear! They did great- trail was unbelievably beautiful. Ticks abound. Superb spot to overnight at the confluence of Sylamore and a tributary. Made that our destination- and it was stellar. Traversed the creek to explore the beachy side. Saw three other small groups hiking and a couple of solo folks. We will make this a repeat trip for sure! Maybe we’ll find another gem closer to Barkshed.... if it beats the one we stated at I’ll be impressed!

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Chris Sanders
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMay 27, 2020
Backpacking

If you're going in warmer weather, be prepared for the ticks. Beyond that, it's a gorgeous trail perfect for a long weekend.

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Jessica Allbritton
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 22, 2020
Hiking

Hiked Barkshed to Allison 5/21 to 5/22. This is one of my favorite trails in the state. Parking is allowed at Barkshed for overnight hikes on Sylamore but the rec areas are still closed. Trail in great condition except a little overgrown in a few spots, mostly between Blanchard and Allison. The creek crossing at Allison was waist deep and is shallower if you go slightly upstream of the trail when crossing. Saw a lot of evidence of feral pigs especially around Blanchard so keep an eye out for them. It's definitely bug & poison ivy season so wear pants & treat everything with permethrin!

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Dale Zigelsky
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 10, 2020
RunningOver grown

Fabulous trail! I started on the north end and the first 8 miles or so were pretty overgrown. Beyond that, the trail was beautiful with bluffs and waterfalls. There is a major stream crossing at Allison

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JT Simmons
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMay 9, 2020
WalkingClosed
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Chris Jordan
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 2, 2020
Hiking

Had a great time. Started at Blanchard and hiked to Allison. Only 5 miles but it was great fun with the family. Trail remains in good condition. Only seen 2 people on trail today. Had to park at mirror lake and hike to trail had at Blanchard due to closure of rec area. Well worth it. Second time to do this leg of the trail.

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Michael Gallup
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 18, 2020
Hiking

As of 4/18: Trail is NOT closed. USFS has stated that the trail and trailheads are not closed despite campgrounds and rec areas being shutdown. The trailhead at Blanchard Springs is the toughest to get to but you can park at the gate and hike down the road to the trailhead. Also you will need to disperse camp if backpacking, there's great spots at Cole Fork, Bee's Branch and between Barkshed and Gunner's Pool. Right now, the dogwoods and tons of wildflowers are blooming, such a beautiful trip. We saw no other humans from Cripple Turkey to Barkshed (about 10 miles) and just passed 4 groups between there and Blanchard. Didn't make it to Alison this time.

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Hnl Ito
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarApril 4, 2020
HikingMuddyRocky
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Hnl Ito
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 3, 2020
HikingRocky

Good trail if you are looking to butn some calories and see some scenery. this would be a good trail if you are training for something bigger as well

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Darrick Spears
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 21, 2020
Hiking

This was an absolutely beautiful trail. I saw some reviews that talked about the tilt of the trail. This is a real hiking trail, this is not a paved trail to take your rascal on. Perfect to take the kids on, lots of adventure and exploring to do along the way. I went from Barkshed rec area to Blanchard rec area and it took about 5 hours with a decent lunch stop and breaks. Awsome, I will be doing it again!

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Tara Shrake
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMarch 14, 2020
Hiking

Trail is well marked. It slants away from the slope, so your ankles are rolled most of the time. Very rocky and a lot of roots, so don't look up! However, the campgrounds are great, scenery is unparalleled and it's just plain FUN. Hiked the entirety.

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trissi lemons
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 9, 2020
Hiking

We did the complete trail from Cripple Turkey to Allison. The first day we did 9.4 miles from Cripple Turkey to Barkshed. Of that, the first 4.7 were not very scenic, but the entire rest of the trail was BEAUTIFUL. At 4.7, you get to the creek for a great lunch spot. Another beautiful (shaded) lunch spot is at 5.56 miles. Gunner Pool Rec area is also scenic and makes for a fun stop and pretty photos. There are state park bathroom facilities at 3 places on this trail (Barkshed, Gunner, and Blanchard). The creek crossing at the end was super fun and doubled as an ice bath for our tired feet after a 14 mile day. The Sylamore Creek Campground has a shuttle service if you need a ride to any of the trailheads, but be sure to make a reservation! Overall, this trail really lived up to the hype! We absolutely loved it. Due to rain, we chose to forego the camping and stayed at this adorable treehouse on Highway 87. "The 87 Getaway Natural Treehouse Retreat" on VRBO.

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