Ozark Highlands Trail: Indian Creek to Lick Branch

EASY 1 reviews

Ozark Highlands Trail: Indian Creek to Lick Branch is a 9.2 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near West Cobb, Arkansas that features a waterfall and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, birding, and backpacking and is accessible year-round.

DISTANCE
9.2 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1555 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

backpacking

birding

camping

hiking

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

no dogs

This section of the Ozark Highlands Trail begins with a half-mile spur trail at the Indian Creek Canoe Launch. Once joining with the OHT proper, you'll continue east to the Lick Branch Trailhead. This section of the OHT will take you through the Marninoni Scenic Area, a beautiful and truly special part of the Ozarks. The Area was named after Paul A Marinoni, a good friend on Tim Ernst, and boasts waterfalls, enormous boulders, towering rock walls, and picturesque hollows.

hiking
5 months ago

The trailhead was a little hard to find, but I trusted the description I'd read and gamely crossed the road. It's there - hidden among the trees. It takes you rather steeply UP, but it's not bad, and this ends up being the most challenging part of the trail - the rest of which is flat and quite easy. Note that this spur is not in Ernst's OHT book, as it didn't exist at the time of publication. The mile markers vary a bit from Ernst's description as well due to the addition of the Lake Fort Smith portion of the trail.

The trail doesn't have a great deal of "WOW," with a notable exception - the Marinoni Scenic Area. It's absolutely beautiful when the creek is running! I'm certain it's rather nice if the creek is dry, but I can't imagine it's the same. I was told that leaf-off reveals some wonderful views into the Mulberry River Valley from the trail. There's also a neat bit of trail that takes you through a sort of "mini-canyon," and the Lick Branch trrailhead is quite pretty as well.

There are a few nice campsites along the trail should you want to spend more time there, or if you're planning your stops as you thru-hike the trail.

Wildflowers were abundant, as was wildlife - at one point I scared up a wild turkey! Poison Ivy is also abundant, but I managed to emerge unscathed.