Explore the most popular backpacking trails in Arkansas with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
muddy
rocky
3 days ago

One of the most beautiful trails I've been on. Took the trail less traveled, went to the end of the bluff, climbed down to the river, hiked the river on Old River Trail, climbed out to the homestead on Sneeds Creak trail, and made it back up. Was total about 10-10.5 miles.

All you first timers, don't forget to contact the Caddo Womble ranger station for a free patch!

One of the best waterfalls in Arkansas. Spectacular when the water is flowing!! Compton’s Double falls is amazing, however there are many other waterfalls to see on this hike including Amber Falls, Owl Falls and many other unnamed waterfalls.

hiking
8 days ago

I would recommend this trail, plenty of water along the trail and several good swimming holes. There was multiple water crossings so be prepared for that.

backpacking
9 days ago

Amazing trail! Did it in about 2.5 days which was a perfect pace January 14th-16th. Eagle rock loop has it all and offers a beautiful variety of scenery ranging from mountainous views to valleys covered in tall pines. Be prepared for the water crossings! Fortunately there were only around 4 big river crossings that required actually getting your feet and legs wet. I would say starting at little Missouri trail head was a good going counter clockwise. Especially if you want to get some of your major elevation gain out of the way and with only 7 miles to the vista, which makes a great first nights camp with its gorgeous view of the surrounding mountains. If you get the chance, do this trail!!

Little traveled trail to some great falls. Do it when doing Whitaker point.

Be mindful of the landslide that occurred in the counter-clockwise direction (mile 15 and 14) as of January 7th, 2019. But other than that, the trail was clearly marked and offered beautiful scenery. I like to recommend this trail to people that are just getting into backpacking, but even if you aren’t a beginner, you will love this small section of the Ozarks that Northwest Arkansas has to offer.

This trail is super easy to follow. The view is breathtaking! You think it ends but it doesn’t! It’s about a 6mile bike there and back.

Whew!! I did the full 17.8 miles yesterday and it was a bear! Really enjoyed the challenge though.

All trails, any idea why the map shows the trail ending at 8.9 miles (just south of the highway there) when it actually continues for another 1.6 miles north to Forest Road, 10.5 miles total?

backpacking
16 days ago

Coming from two 23 year old, able bodied but slightly out of shape dudes, each carrying 40lb packs, this loop is definitely hard. If you do the full loop I recommend starting at the lake and going up the west side. It’s much prettier in terms of water features and is shorter in distance, still very steep. The east side (going down after camping on the mountain) is still very pretty but you barely see the river that is on that side. Lots of up and down expanses high up on the east side. It took us almost 5 hours to get up the mountain from the west side (stopping every 20-30 min with one break longer 15 min break for lunch, abt 12-15 stops). It took us only less than 4 hours the next morning to go down the longer east side (about 10 stops). If u want to just go for a day I would take two cars and park one at the lake and then start at the top of the mountain and go down the west side. 8/10 for views and overall experience, 2/10 for easiness. Wouldn’t go back unless for the day hike I mentioned.

hiking
16 days ago

A great trail! If you start on white rock mountain, the hike back to your car Is pretty tough. Overall, the views and scenery were great. We went early January and got great weather. Tons of water flowing throughout the mountain and multiple waterfalls. Highly recommend.

I had done this hike in July and it was not a good experience. Each of us got about 20 ticks, hardly any water sources, and overgrown. Wouldn’t recommend then, but highly recommend late fall and even in the winter if you don’t mind camping in the cold.

This one kicked my butt today. The trail splits frequently so pay attention. And do not go when it’s hot unless you enjoy heat stroke. It was amazing weather today but I wouldnt want to be out there any warmer than it was ( a balmy 64 in January ) but incredibly strenuous. I’m not fit by any means, but even the healthy peppy college kiddos out there were dying. Pack a ton of water and if you are asthmatic bring your inhaler !
Water proof hiking boots and trek poles will make your life so much easier. The trail is basically a creek bed after a rain. With wet leafy stone steps . Going down watch your step, going up watch your breathing lol. Get there early if you go on a weekend it was Uber crowded. Ps if you drive a little car it’s a muddy dirt road with huge holes and washboards . Be careful ! I would say no for kids. It doesn’t have the drop off like the goat trail, but lots of places to slip, several creek crossings and overall every kid I saw today was absolutely exhausted halfway in.

It was incredibly beautiful! But be prepared for some hard work !

The most beautiful trail In the state. One of my favorite places to be.

backpacking
18 days ago

Excellent tail, not for beginners! Don’t forget your water shoes, and have fun.

backpacking
19 days ago

We did the Buckeye Mountain/Caney Creek Trail Loop on 12/01-12/02. This review is just for the Caney Creek to Buckeye portion.

Coming down from Buckeye Mountain, we made a stop off at Katy Falls, then jumped on the Caney Creek Trail. About .5 or 1 mile after the falls, we set up camp for the night. This trail has lots of great spots to camp. Most campsites are right along the creek, so water supply is not a problem.

There are several water crossings on this trail. It rained a couple days in a row before our hike. There were two spots where we were knee deep when crossing. Most of the spots though, we were able to rock hop across.

Overall, the trail itself is very easy to navigate and hike. A couple moderate hikes up and down, and some water crossings. Other than that, not bad at all.

backpacking
19 days ago

We did the Buckeye Mountain/Caney Creek Trail Loop on 12/01-12/02. This review is just for the Buckeye portion. If you are starting from Buckeye trailhead, make sure that you have plenty of water from the start. If you are starting around Katy Falls, make sure you top off before you head up. The trail runs along a mountain ridge and there are no places to stop for water once on the trail.

Started at the Caney Creek trailhead and made the 1.1 mile hike up the road to the Buckeye Mountain trailhead. This hike up the road is by far the worst part of the hike, as it is just a constant gradual ascent for the whole mile. The trail itself is not very difficult. It's a pretty quick hike up to the ridge. Then a several small ascents and descents as you go along the mountain ridges. Lots of great spots for photos. There was one spot on the ridge where we almost lost the trail, but I think this was mostly due to a lot of fallen leaves. Other than that, it was easy to keep up with.

On the descent toward Katy Falls, there were a few spots where some large fallen trees blocked the trail, and we had to get a little creative to get around them. Outside of this, the trail was easy to follow and hike down.

Katy Falls area is a nice spot to stop to rest before completing the remainder of the loop, or finding a spot to camp.

The two bluff trails are pretty unique as far I know and the scenery even on a rainy winter day is great. The trail is well maintained and easy to follow.

backpacking
20 days ago

The trail was difficult at times (maybe my own fault, because I overestimated my beginner abilities ;-) ). Besides that, amazing views. Our dog enjoyed himself too. We will definitely return.

hiking
20 days ago

I brought a first timer out here on new year weekend. She ended up loving it and now we are planning our second trip. We posted a video of our experience here if you want to get an idea of what the trail looks like https://youtu.be/B2vhT4QxFjE

I enjoyed this trail despite some challenges. I did it in July 2017 and a freak storm came in from nowhere and kept us wet virtually the entire trail. The trail makes you give up a lot of elevation, so it can be a good workout. It is tough to stay on the trail in parts of it due to lack of traffic and not many blazes. If you want to challenge your endurance a lot and your navigation a little I highly recommend this trail. I completed it in one long day and I’m an old fat guy so just about anyone can do this one if your motivated. There is a neat shelter near the intersection with the Ouachita Trail. I think the HARD rating that this trail is probably appropriate. If you run marathons or have thru hiked the AT six times I know it was easy for you, no need to boast.

backpacking
21 days ago

The beginning and the end of the hike will test you, but the landscape is worth it. Highly recommend.

Hiked to the end of the Goat Trail today with hubby and 3 kids (14, 8, and 6). Yes, it could be dangerous if you don’t watch your children, but be responsible and stay safe. I certainly wouldn’t say “not for kids.” Maybe not all kids, but if you have an active family,it’s worth the effort. Everyone enjoyed the hike and the views at the end of Goat Trail. The hike out is uphill as all the reviews state, but I’d rather hike uphill than down, so I prefer it this way. Giving it 4 stars because there are some places that are really muddy, and there isn’t a lot to look at the first couple of miles. We walked to the trailhead from our cabin, so we went close to 7 miles total. Even the 6 year old said it was worth it!

attempted the full hike yesterday(12/30) and was a little disappointed. trail marking in some places were scarce and because of the time of year the trail would kind of "run out" in some places leaving you wondering if you were on the trail anymore or not.
at one point around mile 5-5.5 there was what looked to supposedly be a bridge for a water crossing that was missing so I had to wade through the water (roughly 10 feet across). and then around mile 6.25 the trail ended on a road with no indication of how to finish the hike so I had to turn back prematurely.
Decent hike but I'd be okay not doing it again.

Everything I could ask for in a mountain ridge hike!

I really enjoyed this trail. It was what I needed after some holiday over indulging. I think "moderate" is pretty appropriate for this one. I did it at the end of December 35-40degrees, all the falls were running and that added some cool points to it. Only a couple other hikers on the trail the day I did it. I started right at the entrance for Redding Camp Ground and did the west side first. Made it out to Spy Rock and back down the east side of the loop GPS said it was 7.45 miles 2 hours 59 minutes moving and 52 minutes stopped.

I started this trek at the north end of the trail and went south. This is quite a difficult trail and you really should be in shape to attempt this section. I did not use poles, but I can see how they would be helpful.

Due to a late start and short winter days, I only went in three miles and then turned back. That distance was still enough to see the views from the top of three ridge lines and to cross three streams in which I had to change shoes. There were several more small crossings that I was able to keep my boots on.

I saw several groups of through hikers. I imagine this was due to it being the weekend between Christmas and New Year.

Nice hike with some length. Had a nice wet weather waterfall. Several creek crossings, some were dicey because water was up. A few views but mostly a simple walk through the woods.

hiking
23 days ago

I hiked clockwise. First 1/2 mile very steep, after that pretty mild. A couple of views, other wise simple hike.

Easy trail to follow. Lots of water and camping spots.

GREAT TRAIL!

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