Explore the most popular no dogs 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.

Loved the trail however short it was. Plenty of water at the falls. Would love to see this after a good rain

Easy trail, would love to see this after a big rain. Plenty of water at the falls

A friend and I backpacked this trail (Buffalo River Trail with connecting trails to the Old River Trail) earlier this week. We actually began at the trail’s beginning at the Boxley trailhead, which is 11 miles southwest of the Ponca trailhead, and we hiked to the trail’s conclusion at Pruitt, some 37 miles from Boxley; we took four days to hike and camped three nights. Past Steel Creek, we took a connecting trail (marked “Primitive Trail”) down from the BRT in the mountains to the ORT along the river. We followed the ORT to Jim’s Bluff, where we spent our second of three nights. The next day, we followed this old and poorly-marked horse trail to Hemmed-In Hollow, which is a box canyon containing the tallest waterfall between the Appalachians and Rockies; from there, we trekked along the ORT for three more miles in our water shoes to reconnect with the BRT at Kyle’s Landing.

We fell in love with this trail—what a wild, beautiful and unforgiving terrain with incredible views, ozark glades, waterfalls, wildlife and homestead ruins around every bend. Something to consider, though: while we found many backcountry campsites with water sources toward the beginning of the trail, we found very few toward the end. Past Kyle’s Landing, the trail stayed high above the river, and with little remaining light, we were forced to stealth-camp past Erbie at one of the only sections of trail with river access. (We could have camped at Erbie campground if we’d carried more cash and less pride.)

Beautiful, well maintained trail. Lots of moss and the falls were beautiful

Great trail! Tough but worth it.

3 days ago

Did this back in 1979. Visited Hemmed in Hollow. Beautiful scenery !

3 days ago

Well maintained trail, easy hike with short steep sections near the end at the caves.

I’d say “moderate” is a fairly conservative rating. Pretty rocky in places and the uphill hike back is no joke. My legs are gonna be worthless in the morning. However, the views were worth every step. Absolutely incredible!

My first hike and the reason I am addicted to hiking. Strenuous for a novice on the way out but doable. loved it!

Short trail down to the bluffs and the waterfall. Another trail that is several miles down the dirt road and not heavily trafficked. We didn’t scramble down below the waterfall but we did find the spot mentioned in other reviews.

Beautiful spot away from the crowds with cascades, waterfalls and the creek carving the canyon. It’s a short hike where you can spend a lot of time scrambling on the boulders and exploring around the next bend. The gravel road is in rough shape and 4wd is recommended.

One of the best sections of the Buffalo River Trail, due to access to river bank, view of historic railroad bridge piers and Red Bluff. Thanks to local citizens who adopt this trail and keep in good shape.

I loved this trail. As you begin your hike don't let the dry creek bed concern you. Most of the year the creek flows underground. It remains dry until just before you reach the natural bridge. You can walk beside the creek under it. Be careful of slippery rocks. There are two small caves just above the natural bridge. They are fun to explore but are not the one with the waterfall. The trail gets steeper as you hike to Eden Falls. There is a nice overhang to explore there. The trail continues very steeply up to the cave. At one point you must crawl before it opens to a room with the waterfall. There were plenty of children and elderly people who went back successfully, but it gets so low before it opens up the you start to believe you can't go any further. Once you get to the back it is well worth the bumped knees and head. I recommend a strong flashlight the will illuminate the room well. It is always recommend to have at least three sources of light. I was in a cave once and accidentally broke two lights. I always carry plenty now. Have fun!

Pretty, yet very short hike. Would be nice to see when there is a lot of water moving. Would not recommend making the trip down the dirt road with anything less than a 4x4.

Not the easiest to get to, but that means less people, and in my book, less is more. You're first decision is clockwise or counterclockwise. Clockwise will take you UP the road then onto the trail. The benefit being you finish on the trail. Counterclockwise you will finish on the road going down. The benefit being an easy walk downhill to finish. There is a trail to the Thunder Canyon Falls that you will miss if you are not looking. If you've read that it's slippery, it was an understatement, expect to slip and maybe you won't. Don't neglect the fire pit at the northern most portion of the trail. It's a great place to have lunch or play in the water. There is nothing spectacular about this trail but it is a solid 4 star. The distance is obviously longer if you trek back to the falls and it will take you longer than you think to get there.

We hiked this trail the other day. It was a little over 6.5 miles roundtrip taking the Goat Trail to the Big Bluff with around a 1000 ft. descent going in and a 1000 ft. ascent coming back. The trail is an old logging trail and can be rocky at times. The views are definitely worth the hike. The goat trail is narrow, but is not dangerous if you are paying attention. Bringing a lunch and having a picnic at the Bluff is a memory that we will cherish.

8 days ago

We hiked this trail this past week. It has a waterfall, caves, and beautiful rock formations. The trail is not difficult and good for families. Highly recommend for those that love nature.

I'm an average hiker and this trail was challenging coming out of the hollow. It took about an hour to get down to the falls, well worth the time, I must say. It was beautiful!! Short hike to the river to see it's beauty as well. Coming out was tough. Multiple stops to catch my breath, it took me about an hour and forty-five minutes to reach the top. Take plenty of water and a snack.

I love this trail. Hard enough to make you have to rest but not impossible i would stay away from in the hotter parts of the year if your not in really good shape. Plus jb trading post is real close to the trailhead. Really cool store with really staff.

Loved it! We went on a sprinkling and foggy morning and arrived around 9am and had the whole place to ourselves until about 10:30! It was great! Beautiful scenery and fun to explore!

when you start going up the hill there are tons of fossils on the side of the trail in the rock mounds.

This was a beautiful trail. There were waterfalls and the cave was pretty neat. When I did this trail there was a nice mist coming off the rocks.

The outing was fun but we added a couple of extra small trails off to the side on to our loop. The cave and cemetary were the highlight of Cecil Cove.

Beautiful in the fall!

Thunder Canyon falls is beautiful. I went when it was frozen and it was just wonderful. The hike is long but simple. Getting there on the road can be tricky if it has rained!

Easy hike. The caves are super fun. Especially when the falls is actually running. Look for Eden falls too, it’s stunning!

This hike was difficult! Downhill to get there and uphill the entire way back. Make sure to go when hemmed in Hollow falls are actually running. Otherwise it won’t be a worthwhile pay off

This is one of my favorite hikes in the Buffalo. It’s view is stunning. The hike is difficult but so worth the effort! You can continue the trail down to the river but sometimes it’s closed so beware!

Had a wonderful hike down to the falls and slightly more intense hike back up to the trailhead. I was worried initially as the forecast called for partly cloudy skies with temperatures in the low 40s, but there was plenty of sun and the cool temps made for a pleasant hike. Was warned here and by other reviews to be adequate prepared, such as taking plenty of water and dressing appropriately (layers)...etc. The trip down only took me about thirty minutes and I had nice lunch alongside the falls. The trip back up took about an hour and fifteen minutes, due in large part to my frequent stops. I haven’t been that out of breath in quite a while. I kept telling myself that every step was one step closer to the trailhead, which I was grateful to finally see. Only encountered five other hikers while I was there, but wasn’t expecting it to be very crowded at this time of year.

nature trips
17 days ago

So many memories of this trail over the years with my Mom who is now in Heaven. We use to be able to camp at the beginning of the trail but flooding stopped that. This is a beautiful, well maintained and still being improved trail. The Spring flowers and wild lilacs are amazing! The creek bed is usually pretty dry when I have been but there are some amazing formations in the bed. At the mouth of the stream sometimes it is full and flowing and a sight to see. If you continue on up you can go into the cave and see the falls. Be careful to stay on the trail too many adventurers have wondered right into dangerous and deadly situations up there above the falls.

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