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

backpacking
21 days ago

Awkward trailhead, had to park near the street. Walked further than spy rock and set up near a waterfall for the night. Wonderful night! Overall great trip and spy rock has great views. Not a strenuous backpacking trip.

Unusual place for a trail head — behind a couple of camping sites at Redding. But a perfect hike for me. A good uphill to a great midpoint – Spy Rock. Then a good descent back to Redding campground. Btw, did I mention that Redding is on the Mulberry River? A dip in the river is a perfect way to top off a great hike. Note: the a- and descent each have spots of (what I consider) narrow trail, especially given one side of the trail is pretty much straight down. Those spots are definitely doable, but I felt a heightened sense of caution traversing those stretches.

Great trail to hike with family. It has a wonderful view and a few water- falls. There were tons of poison-Ivey. Please be aware of this.

An amazing trail. We traveled up the west side part of the loop. It took us about 2 hours to reach the top. The view is worth the climb. Heads up that while it looks overgrown, the actual summit itself is pretty clean and a great spot to camp. Also watch out for the ticks. There’s plenty of them to go around. :)

We took the trail from the Redding Campground, where it is well marked. This is a beautiful hike, but there are no markings when you hit the East/West division about how many kilometers the hike is. There was no information at the campground about the trail, so we figured it was a 2-3 mile trail, easy for a quick afternoon hike. However we soon realized that the "loop" was farther up the mountain than we thought, and we had to turn around after 2 hours and head back down because of the bad weather coming in. Please have someone mark the trailhead with a distance for the loop!

backpacking
2 months ago

Great trail for a day hike or overnight backpacking. This was our first backpacking trip and we had a blast. Great place to hammock camp right on the rock overlook. Trail is well marked and maintained. Both of us are beginners but are in good physical condition; it took us about 2.5 hours to reach the rock and about 1.5 hours to hike back down.

hiking
2 months ago

TRAIL IS NOT WELL MARKED. THE COMMENT THAT SAYS IT IS, IS VERY MISLEADING. Look for a SMALL, THIN BROWN SIGN, stuck into ground. IT IS EXTREMELY EASY TO MISS. Parking is not marked and is practically non-existent. There are like 3 individual spaces that you would believe are supposed to be used for parking. Basically, there's a dirt road you take to cut through the loop trail to a very short hike, to an incredibly scenic spot called Spy Rock. Fantastic view. Worth the drive. Only had around 40 minutes of time on the rock, because we spent 20 minutes searching for the trail. TRAIL IS EXACTLY WHERE GPS SAYS IT IS. JUST LOOK FOR BROWN SIGN. Since it takes only around 10 minutes to hike to the rock, it's perfect if you only have like an hour or so to actually be hiking and being outdoors in nature (not including travel time), but want to go somewhere very remote with a comparably better view than Yellow Rock. There is almost no difference in elevation. This is an insanely easy hike. Not good for children as the bluff is rather small. Could not tell if they were Eagles, Hawks, or Falcons but there was a couple large birds flying around in the horizon and it was gorgeous. Could be an excellent spot for birding if you get lucky like we did. I wish I had more time just to watch the birds majestically fly around the top of the vast landscape.

Was not paying close attention to the length of this trail when we hiked it. Was very long... but there are several waterfalls along the way. It really is worth the distance. I had a puppy and 2 7 year old kiddos who enjoyed it!

I'd rate this trail as moderate. The trail is narrow but slopes gradually and has only a few rugged areas. The trail is well-marked and -maintained. There are more sources of water on the east loop than the west, but I suspect that those will disappear during the dry season. There is no water source at the summit campsite, but the view is great. We arrived just in time to see the sun set.

One more thing. The trailhead is no longer at Redding campground. It is located on a small dirt road just east of the campground off the main highway. The new parking lot is located directly on the east loop. The spur leading to Redding campground still exists though. Make sure you don't accidently take it and end up in someone's campsite like we did.

Every time I hike a little part of the OHT, I think "what a lovely stretch of trail." This portion is no exception. The views as you head up the mountain just get more spectacular. On the Spring day when I visited, the wildflowers and butterflies were going like gangbusters. The old chimney and well at the homesite are neat, and worth the very short detour to check them out.
You do go UP, though fairly gradually. And then it's all downhill to get back to the trailhead!

Don't let the short length of this trail fool you - it's a doozy! I wouldn't recommend it to hiking newbies or anyone not in pretty good shape, as it's not a maintained trail and it is VERY steep in parts. For the intrepid/experienced, this is a fun trail that offers a bit of a challenge, and two lovely waterfalls. I have been on this trail after very heavy rains and was able to visit only one waterfall due to creek levels - use your head and be safe!
A historic structure known as the Rock House is nearby on the OHT, and is worth visiting as long as you're here - cross the road to the Ozark Highlands Trail and take a left when you come to the fork.
Information about the Rock House from a descendant of its original inhabitants can be found here: https://ozarkmountainhiker.com/2018/03/31/rock-house-history/

backpacking
3 months ago

Great little hike. Definitely not a hard trail. I would say moderate at best.

easy to follow, well kept and all around great trail!

hiking
3 months ago

This is a fun hike, is mostly covered, and has a breathtaking overlook at the end! We went up on the west side trail and down on the east, though you could easily choose the opposite. There are camp sites along the east side. The east side also has bluff overlooks and waterfalls, but it is more rocky. If you’re starting on the west side, make sure to not turn prematurely when you’re getting close to the top - pass the road closed sign on the trail as the trail shoot off for spy rock is clearly marked with brown/yellow wooden signs. There’s great hammocking and two camp sites at top of spy rock! Might have to pay $3 for parking so bring cash.

hiking
5 months ago

This isn’t a well maintained trail. In fact, most of the way down to the creek is via dirt road. A foot path does split from the road about mid way down (blue tape) but I didn’t want to bushwhack. The inconvenience of getting there and having to work a bit at finding your way, however, is rewarded with scenic beauty. If you like a sense of solitude, minus a few beer cans strewn about, this adventure is for you. If you want an organized outing that is a bit more manicured and easy-to-follow, visit another trail. Truthfully, there are segments on the OHT and OT that are just as captivating without the hassle.

Absolutely LOVE this trail! I've taken my kids many times for a quick day hike. Such a beautiful trail and the lookout is so amazing! My go-to place when needing some mountain therapy!!

Quiet, secluded, and beautiful. Very well marked and maintained in the Winter. Don't miss the detour to the view at Spy Rock, one of the prettiest around. If you're going to park near the trailhead be sure to bring $3 and a pen to fill out your day use tag and envelope.

We did this hike Dec. 28th and it was chilly - but totally worth it! the trail is narrow the whole way and steep and rocky at some points. the trail was really well maintained and marked. all the downed trees and the pricier bushes were cut so we could pass through without any problems. the river along the way and the falls at the end were really amazing. We're not sure how long the whole hike was, but moving nonstop at a pretty fast pace we hiked back in about 80 minutes (we were trying to beat the sunset). if you're doing this hike in the winter leave plenty of time for exploration before dark, it may take you longer than anticipated!

My girlfriend and I backpacked this trail in October and we both enjoyed it thoroughly. The leaves were only beginning to change colors but still, much to see. Our goal was to camp on top of Spy Rock so we reached the top after only a few hours of hiking. We crossed several dry creeks and found nowhere to replenish our water. However, we prepared for this and packed plenty of water as most of Arkansas is dry during that time of year. The trail is moderately inclined going to the top of the mountain. I would not say it was difficult. Once at the top we found a few great primitive campsites. The view was beautiful. A must see. We enjoyed plenty of time to relax at the top (bring a hammock) before cooking supper and turning in for the night. Sunrise from the top was spectacular and we broke camp after saying goodbye to another backpacker who also camped at the top. I can't remember if we hiked this loop clockwise or counterclockwise but we did see a few trickling waterfalls on our hike out. This was a short overnight trip but left us plenty of time to get done with Sunday chores once we were back home. I certainly recommend this hike.

Did this yesterday. Great trail.

The trailhead has been moved from the Redding campground to a little parking area 1/4 mile further down the highway. All the signage at the new trailhead is missing so it was a total guess where to go but we got it right. From the parking lot, follow the trail that starts out the back of the parking lot and turns right toward Redding campground. It will take you to the intersection of the old trail beginning and the west and east loops, We met another hiker on the trail that said the old trailhead at Redding was just across from the restrooms.

The trail spends a good amount of miles along bluffs, teasing you with views of the valley through bare trees. Sometimes the trail is narrow and the bluff drop off very severe, but nothing too scary. The trail meanders through both deciduous and pine forest but stays primarily in the woods. At this time of year, the leaves are deep enough to obscure ankle rolling rocks, so be careful and you might want to opt for ankle high boots for support. The creeks were all dry but some rock formations on the east loop surely make some awesome waterfalls after a rain.

Spy Rock is a nice view for a lunch break. Plenty of big rocks to sit on while you enjoy the view. Looks like enough space for 2 campsites at Spy Rock, would make a great side trail for someone backpacking the OHT.

It was a decent outing. All the trees were still changing colors so it was pretty. However, some people were camping up on Spy Rock which just made that part non-enjoyable and quick. I would like to come back in the raining season and see the waterfall.

backpacking
9 months ago

New trail head is located NE of the parking lot of the trail head. Do not take the trail head located in the new trail head parking lot

Hike feels really long, when I tracked our distance straight back it was actually about 3.5 miles so the hike feels longer than it says because it's closer to 7 miles.

Negatives: the trail wasn't really well kept in some places, to the point we were not a 100% sure we were still on the trail. We actually said we should have brought a machete to clear some of the path.

Positives: there are some fairly challenging inclines and declines, cliffs, a few water features, and probably some wildlife (we were kinda noisy so didn't see anything but spiders). We didn't leave with any ticks and or other bugs. The worst we got was some whips and slashed from the over grown areas which did include thorns but fortunately nothing poisonous.

hiking
Sunday, May 14, 2017

Quick Update:
This is the third time I've visited the Falls, and I've never seen them like this. The recent torrential rains have made for some excellent waterfalls. They've also resulted in some wet crossings where this is usually not an issue. We continued past the Falls a little bit, and had to get our feet wet a couple of times to do so.

Tick season is upon us, and they are REALLY bad right now. In spite of his (generally very effective) tick collar, I picked no less than 20 ticks off of my poor dog during/after this hike. We walked back on the road once we hit it to avoid picking up any more of the little critters. This trail seems especially bad tick-wise, as it includes lots of leafy/brushy bits. It's a wonderful hike, but be aware!

hiking
Saturday, April 22, 2017

I'm not sure why the AllTrails app started at EL 1436 ft for the return trip to trail head at the county road. There is not 256 feet of elevation change from the road to the high point just east of the overlook. For the Overlook Trail, parking is minimal to non-existent. We parked along the shoulder at a wide spot in the road just north of the trail head sign. The overlook view will be great in the Fall if there is color.

backpacking
Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Good early season hike to get back into backpacking shape! It should be only be rated moderate, with some elevation gain and rocky stretches. Blue blazes on the trail could use some repairs, but the trail was always easy to find with good signage. Water was abundant all along the trail except for the Spy Rock section. Spring was just starting to hit the higher elevations, with some dogwood flowering and the trees just leafing out. It seems like they recently did a prescribed burn here, as the understory vegetation was very sparse.

I paid $3 and parked in the Redding campsite overnight, although I'm sure parking in the Spy Rock parking area would have been fine. Even though the Redding campsite looked full, I saw no one else on the trail both days. I took the east loop and camped at the second waterfall. There was very little flat ground, but it worked. Be warned, there is a lot of ATV noise along the east loop at night.

I went up to Spy Rock the next day, which was less elevation gain than I expected. I found a smoldering fire at the top--shame on the campers who stayed there the night before! I put it out with the extra water I brought with me. The view from the top was well worth the hike!

The west loop was all downhill and very easy but not very interesting.

hiking
Monday, March 13, 2017

This was my second visit, this time with the dog. We are now both big fans of this trail. The views are incredible, and both waterfalls were flowing a little. This trial is easy to find and follow, and, while it's rated "hard," it's really somewhere between "easy" and "moderate."

hiking
Sunday, March 12, 2017

lots of rocks on the east loop

Sunday, February 19, 2017

A really nice hike especially after some substantial rainfall. It's worth noting that the mileage listed represents the hike in and back. Don't give up on it, it's a long 2.8 miles in and I met a couple of ppl on the way out that needed some reassurance that they still had some track left to get there. Also the trail will lead directly to the falls. Moderate is a good rating for this trail unless you haven't hiked much and are somewhat out of shape. If this is you, then it will be moderately hard hike.

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Pretty hike the whole time! We did the west loop first and it was pretty easy. On the east loop there were two waterfalls that would've been flowing really well after a good rain. We backpacked it and stayed the night at spy rock. Absolutely gorgeous view!! You could definitely make it a day trip, but I would recommend camping and exploring at spy rock!

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