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

backpacking
10 days ago

At the beginning of the trail, it's pretty straight forward and easy to follow, but once you make the turn off to go on to the actual Black Fork trail, there are no more blazes to mark the trail. Not far past this turn, you come up to a shelter, but it's not technically on the trail. Just before you make it to the shelter, someone has marked the path with red ribbon on a few trees. This was the only way we were able to find the path from here. The path is easy to follow from there until you get to the end of the "U" (its the "V" on AllTrails). We completely lost the trail there even after heavily relying on the Ouachita National Forest Map I got on Avenza Maps.

The trail is heavily overgrown in parts with thorny vines that were not fun to get through. I don't know if we were more focused on trying to stick to the trail, but we also never found the vistas that were the main reason we planned to do this hike. Maybe we just missed something, I don't know...

I do not recommend this trail at all because of the vines and the trail being so hard to follow. Definitely more of a frustrating hike than we were wanting.

Great scenic views! Nice little hike around the lodge.

Love this, been coming here since I was a kid doing the east caney Creek to Buckeye Loop, easy trail on the bottom and vigorous hike on the top.

hiking
2 months ago

Super short distance. Don't let that deter you from hiking this beautiful trail. Steeper decent than usual did this area. Climb out is really good for a work out. I ran the up hill part trying to make up for time (Rocky terrain will slow you down). I also did the Reservoir trail for kicks. Good work out on both trails. I really enjoyed this short trail.

I did the Buckeye trailhead to East Caney Creek trailhead and walked back up the road to Buckeye. This was an exhausting 8hr hike, I took many breaks and explored the sites.
This is also one of the best trails I have done, from the views, waterfall, creek crossings, wildlife, and solitude. I will say, all of the down trees on the path made the going tough sometimes, but provided excellent resting spots. I would start this trip well before noon if you want to make it out before dark.

this trail is not for the faint of heart.. but it truly is an amazing trail... like all the other comments...I suggest you take water as there is none from the trailhead to Katy falls... were asking the way you can see several breath taking views... VERY nice trail.. yes there is a couple of spots that have you walking threw under brush... but very worth it... I will be doing this trail again with better prep... underestimated this trail... so you should always read the reviews... LoL.. loved it..

Fun hike. Recommend having the Ouachita Trail map from Backcountry Maps. It shows the lookout locations and more detail on the trail.

The scenic view is about 2.5 miles in from the trailhead. There are very few blazes, but this part of the trail is pretty easy to follow. There is a vertical post (sign missing) just before the overlook. You will see some tumbled rocks on the left that lead to boulders you can climb on. Worth the view even if this is as far as you get.

The remaining trail can be hard to see in some places. Periodic rock tumbles require you pick your way and find the trail on the other side. Helpful hikers have stacked rock piles to ease the way, but it’s still easy to miss the trail in places.

After the big U in the trail (looks like a V in AllTrails), you descend to a lower trail on the ridge. This also continues to the east (not shown on the map) so mark where you join the trail after the U. This will keep you from continuing on the lower trail upon your return.

Like a few others i did the Buckeye Trail down to Caney Creek and then east on the Caney Creek trail over one night. This was toward the end of march, high 60;s outside which was perfect. Make sure you have plenty of water because after the Buckeye trailhaid there is no water till you get to caney creek. I parked at the Caney Creek Trailhead and walked the extra mile back up the road to the Buckeye trailhead. once you get to caney creek and you want to camp stay right at the fork and keep the river to your left for about .15 miles or so and you will find a clearing to camp at. There were plenty of other campsites to stay at as well that people made themselves but they werent in a designated camping area. The hike out of Caney Creek was amazing and super relaxing. Most of it following next to the creek and pretty easy going. Lots of water along the way and a easy 4 miles out.

We paired this trail with the caney creek trail for a nice one night backpacking loop. We parked our car at the east caney trailhead and walked about a mile up the gravel road to the buckeye trailhead. Both trailheads are well marked and have plenty of parking. The buckeye is rated as moderate and I believe that is an accurate description. It’s has some decent climbs but nothing too taxing or that lasts for too terribly long. I read where others had some issues following the trail but we didn’t experience any of this. This may be due to the time of year we went which had decreased underbrush. The views along the ridge of the buckeye were vast and the rock formations along this and the caney were impressive. There’s a few good areas to stop and rest or have a snack. Be sure to pack all the water you will need as there is no water for filtering along the ridge. We hiked about 4.5 miles on the trail (not including the 1 mike hike to the trailhead) and arrived at Katy falls. We ended up camping at a spot above the falls and up the stream a bit. It was secluded and peaceful with a nice fire ring and the stream near by for a water source. The falls were a great place for our dog to swim in the pool below and a great place to hang out for lunch. After a good nights rest we joined up with the caney creek trail and headed east. We passed several nice campsites, both near the stream, where the trails merge. The caney creek trail passed through a beautiful forest area and was near the stream for the majority of the hike. There were several campsites along this portion of the trail as well. As with the buckeye, there were a few areas with some elevation gain but nothing too severe. It’s a shady area for the most part unlike the ridge of the buckeye which could also get a bit breezy. After about 4 miles we were at the east caney trail head and at the end of our hike. This was our first time to this area and we can’t wait to go back again.

In my opinion, this is the best one night loop trail in Arkansas. Big views, great campsites, water features, light traffic. I would warn any prospective hikers that there are no blazes on the trail. If you aren't a competent navigator, you will struggle. Also, getting to Katy Falls is challenging if you don't want to get wet. It's approximately 0.25 miles off trail, up Katy Creek.

Nice hike. Not marked well. Several trees on trail and some that are hanging that needs to be removed. Beautiful views

backpacking
5 months ago

I did this trail on 1/26-1/27 and at the first switchback on the map the trail disappears. I don’t know if it’s the season and the leaves, limbs, etc had covered the trail but I stayed on the map trail 5 miles in and never saw a sign of a path. Finally set up camp at the nearest stream because water is scarce. Very rocky and slick (rained during the evening and throughout the night) with briars all over the mountain. Anyway, I don’t recommend this trail during the winter months due to path visibility.

Nice paved trail with interpretative signs along the way. There are also several benches for resting. There is an old homestead site halfway down, with a cellar, cistern, and stone well. The well is capped with a metal grate, but the cistern and cellar are open (though not terribly deep), with a simple chicken wire fence. Keep a hand on your younger wanderers there. Otherwise, it's a nice refreshing walk, especially if you've been driving the Talimena. If you'd like something a wee bit more challenging, the Settler's Trail branches off of this one.

This is an awesome trail, but it is most definitely not easy, and Queen Wihelmina rates it as moderate. There are several rockfalls and boulders to climb over. The end of the trail is also quite steep, so I would echo another reviewer and suggest doing it backward. This is not a trail for anyone with joint issues or anything that affects your endurance. I have stress-induced heart palpitations, and my heart rate was in the 150s by the time we reached the end. It is a very beautiful and interesting trail for those without these issues, though. My four little girls absolutely loved it!

trail running
6 months ago

Excellent challenge for an out and back trail run. Mostly single track, little switch backs. Not a walk in the park.

It's a quick trail in the sense that it's right at 1 mile to complete. However, I would rate it as moderate due to the terrain and boulders. We hiked it with our children, a 6 year old and 8 year old, and it took us 38 minutes due to photo ops. Stunning views along this loop.

hiking
8 months ago

Great trail for an easy/moderate hike. We went on a beautiful November afternoon after it had rained. The sky was a bit overcast which affected the view yet the sun began to peek through toward the end allowing us a beautiful view. If you go after a rain be cautious on the bridge and stairs as the wood in particular is VERY slippery.

hiking
8 months ago

Great trail with scenic views. Trail starts on the north side of the Queen Wilhelmina lodge. I would say that this trail is more moderate as there are a lot of stone steps to climbed up and down. You get a great view from the viewing platform. There are a lot of different types of foliage found on the trail and even a small stream.

hiking
8 months ago

Beautiful trail but the day we went was socked in by clouds, so no views. Still excellent. Recommend starting at the observation deck by the railroad tracks and going "backward" to do the most strenuous part going downhill, not uphill.

When others say the trail is somewhat overgrown I'm assuming they had a better experience than we did. Haha. We went over labor day weekend and the buckeye trail was so overgrown! There were weeds that were taller than me and I'm 5'7. And talk about burning all your energy, wading through a sea of grass and weeds with your 30lb pack. It was quite comical. We even came across someone that was totally off the trail where it turns to the south to go down to caney creek. If we hadn't been there at that time who knows how long the guy would've been lost and the sun was going down fast at that point. Also when coming from buckeye trailhead, about a quarter to half mile the trail comes to somewhat of a fork. One way is straight ahead of you, the other looks like a switch back. Luckily I had read somewhere to not take that "switchback" it's goes to an old mine or something. It took us all of 5 hours to get from buckeye trailhead down to the creek. We camped by the creek and the caney creek trail part was a breeze compared to buckeye. Overall it was an okay trail but in March we did trails in ponca and had to do the same amount of effort for much greater reward.

hiking
10 months ago

I gave this trail a 4 star rating. The trail itself is not very well marked and also not very well maintained but it's still a beautiful hike. I would also say it's a fairly easy hike with the exception of a few stretches that will get your heart-rate going.

Hiked this trail Labor Day weekend with my dog. It was a decent trail with nice views. It might be a better trail in the fall/winter when the brush has all died down. There was a ton of bushwhacking to be be done and the trail was extremely tough to follow at certain times. Fortunately my dog kept me on the trail for the most part.

This trail had some spectacular views but was very rugged. The first few miles of the trail was overgrown with the bushes over my head and it was easy to lose the trail and follow a game trail instead. Be aware of what direction you should be heading though and you should be fine, using the map on AllTrails really helped. I will definitely do this one again in a few months!

Overgrown hard to stay on trail.

Well maintained, approximately 4 foot wide, rocky terrain so you must walk vs bike

hiking
11 months ago

Great couple of spots in the middle of the trail for a beautiful view. The one is the actual lookout with benches and railings. Somewhat strenuous; take water.

hiking
11 months ago

Was a great trail! Some parts were a little rocky! But overall a great trail!

hiking
Saturday, July 01, 2017

We didn't do the entire trail, but the part that we did was great! After passing the shelter and going to the first peak we veered off to some big rocks that provided an awesome view. After starting to go downhill from there the trail was very overgrown but we stuck with it until we got to the bullfrog pond - there was a braid of human hair nailed to a tree and that did it for us, we turned around at that point and went back, but I'd love to do it again and go the entire way, with a machete and maybe some bear spray.

backpacking
Monday, June 26, 2017

Definitely a 20mile trail, if you go out and back and do the full trail. Make sure and check out the ranger website to get the map and find the trail heads, of which there are 3. Had a blast though. Absolutely gorgeous and a whole lot harder than we thought it would be. Plenty of water to be found on the three streams and plenty of great camp sites. Only a few ticks, but at night there were plenty of swarming and but not biting bugs. All in all, highly recommend it. Very lightly trafficked.

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