Smith Creek Trail

MODERATE 30 reviews

Smith Creek Trail is a 5.7 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Ponca, 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.

5.7 miles
797 feet

dogs on leash

kid friendly




nature trips

trail running







wild flowers


The trail down to Smith Creek entails about a 500 foot descent in the one mile journey from the parking area by Hwy 21. Trails along the creek are generally level. Smith Creek has many large boulders, cascades, and reflecting pools. It is also noted for its outstanding spring wild flower bloom that is on par with the famous bloom at Lost Valley. Wildflower fans will want to visit both destinations. QuiVaLa Elise Falls (side trail as you head down the hill from the trailhead) is one of many side trips you can take as you explore the area.

21 days ago

We were skeptical about this hike after hearing about all of the tree damage. However, they have cleared out the trees on the main trail down to the bridge/picnic table. Seeing the damage the tornado did to those trees was a sight to see in itself. Very early on in the hike there is an opportunity to take a left off the main path and go hike down to Elise Falls. This was the best part of the hike for us, although it was pretty steep. Once you get down to the creek bed, keep following it down until you see a tee with an arrow sign on it, which directs you up a smaller creek. At the end of that creek is the fall. It was beautiful, even without water.

6 months ago

The low trail has been obliterated by fallen trees. Not much to see. No waterfall

7 months ago

good hike ,but there are a lot of trees damage on the trail so you have to climb over and go around the trees

9 months ago

Just FYI lots of storm damage on the Lower Trail made it difficult to navigate. Other than that a wonderful hike and very scenic along the creek.

9 months ago

Fun and scenic trail. Lots of huge boulders small pools and waterfalls. I got a little lost not paying attention and missed the loop to the waterfall and kept following the creek for a few miles. Just followed the creek back to the trail no problem. The trail isn't marked with trail markers but there are markers for specific sights along the trail, which are also marked on the map at the trailhead. The trail is also very wide in most parts. Despite not even making it to the waterfall I thought this was a cool hike that would be pretty easy for anyone. Will definitely make another trip here.

9 months ago

This is one of my new favorite trail! It was challenging at times due to the recent storm damage but very scenic & definitely worth the trek!

10 months ago

This is an easy and very well maintained trail. Really great for adventurous children of almost all ages and the hike out is a great challenge for any age. The huge boulders in the creek are beautiful. I am sure this place is absolutely beautiful in fall and late spring. This trail is an overlooked little gem! We will definitely be going back!

11 months ago

Wow. Amazing area. Elise falls wasn't running, but I wasn't expecting more than a trickle. Smith Creek, however, is flowing, and all of the nicest spots here were in their full glory on a clear, sunny day.

This is a great family spot, and it offers a good experience for all types of hikers. Those averse to insects, narrow/obscure trails, and inclines can stick to the main trail (or just stay indoors already) - though the beginning, right from the trailhead is a doozy - those who are a little more intrepid will enjoy hiking the Upper or Lower trails. All should continue on the trail past the picnic table. That's where it gets good!

Sunday, November 06, 2016

beautiful fall hike. If you love beautiful trees and rocky rivers surrounded by high cliffs then the main trail and the spring trail are for you. If you don't enjoy those things then there is something wrong with you. Seek help. The afore mentioned trails are very wide (think roads) and all the points of interest are marked with little arrows.

The high road trail and the trail to the water fall are not as wide and a bit rough in spots but they are well marked and surrounded by great scenery.

The waterfall wasn't flowing but it was pretty anyway.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Did this trail yesterday. Disappointed no falls no water at all maybe bad time of year but what was the most disappointing is the trails are poorly make and you will get lost if you don't stay on the main trail. Ran into other people that were also lost and they had a GPS that said we were on the trail but there was not trail at all. Had to hike up the side of a hill through the woods to relocate trail.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Amazing hike. Took the wife and kids and everyone loved it. We turned the 3.6 mile route into 7.5 miles because we found so many amazing things to see. Needs to be on your list.

Saturday, April 09, 2016

Beautiful and not crowded like so many others in this area.

Sunday, March 06, 2016

This was a very beautiful trail. I have never heard of it until i found it on this site and i must say its a hidden gem in the Ponca area. we took an infant, two, six and eight year olds and they did fine. A little steep on the way out but power through it. Beautiful boulders, creek, waterfalls. 5 star for sure

Sunday, June 07, 2015

This is a great valley to explore with waterfalls, neat rock formations, sinking creek, bouldering as you make your way upstream, old double track trails that lace the area. Very picturesque.

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