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

backpacking
1 day ago

Well, I had high expectations and the pictures were amazing. Unfortunately for me, the growth was up quite a bit already and the views were limited. I think it would be wiser to complete this hike early spring before the growth takes off or after the leaves drop.

Love this hike. And crawling back into cave to see fall.

hiking
1 day ago

Very nice trail! Well maintained and clean with beautiful scenery! Go in early spring after a good rain to see the waterfalls running full. A little crowded, but so worth it!

hiking
3 days ago

Scenic, easy trail. There’s an underground waterfall if you’re into that.

Really beautiful hike!

hiking
7 days ago

Beautiful trail. Easy enough for all ages.

This was one of the most beautiful and most fun hikes I have ever done! There was so much to see along the way. I agree with the review before mine-it’s a nature’s playground! This would be a great trail for kids.

hiking
8 days ago

The first 5-star I've given on here! This valley is actually insane. It is compact, so there is not a whole lot of hiking, but there is no shortage of things to explore. The best way I know to describe it is an adult's playground. Favorite part was Eden cave. Follow it all the way to the back, even though you'll have to crawl.

We arrived 2 days (April 23) after a heavy rain in the area so we were looking forward to the falls running hard. We were not disappointed. The stream and falls were outstanding. The hike was fairly easy unless you wanted to go into the cave where you have to climb large steps carved out of the rock.

Beautiful. The best views we’ve seen. An amazing spot!

Beautiful trail. The parking is a gravel parking lot right off the road. Very easy to find. I went on a Monday morning and the trail was not busy at all. The views are breathtaking. The hike back out is extremely hard. All up hill and there are about 4 big hills you have walk up. I would suggest taking trekking poles and LOTS of water. You will need it on your way out. The trail is very well marked and easy to follow. This trail is hard but the views are well worth it! I definitely will be coming back!!!

Absolutely beautiful place! We went a few days ago after we've had decent rain so the waterfalls were amazing! Lots of stone steps, but mostly an easy hike.

Great hiking trail, that return leg is incredible steep. Make sure you bring plenty of water!

Fun but crowded. Only second half of the hike was fun once off the stone path. The cave was awesome and definitely be best part!

beautiful waterfall!!!!

well marked, good distance for a day hike, fun scenery

hiking
1 month ago

So so beautiful, especially if the falls are going. We went in March after rain and it was rushing. The hike has some climbing in places, and can be slick, but my 5 kids handled it pretty well (the 3 and 4-year-olds needed help). The cave was kinda claustrophobic because so many people were trying to get in and out. I would definitely hike it again, but skip the the cave.

hiking
1 month ago

Seeing this place after a good rain is sooo much better! Liked it before, loved it this time.

The creek and falls are very beautiful. The fallen trees have been cleared from the trail, and were a sight to see themselves. We enjoyed exploring the falls and climbing on the boulders.

Parts of the trail, especially near the creek at the picnic table, are not clearly marked. We were concerned we lost the trail at one point but we walked along the creek until we found the picnic table. The bridge only crossed a side creek, not the main creek. The creek was hard to cross to get to the bridge for my grandfather, who is physically fit but has bad eyesight.

Beautiful trail. Got hammered by a thunderstorm just before getting to Cob Cave, so at least we had some cover. Loved it!

Perfect hike for our family! The waterfalls were beautiful, and the cave at the end was so cool! If you stay to the right when it starts getting narrow, you don't have to crawl really...It's just a tight squeeze. Well worth it to see the waterfall inside. Our boys (4 and 11) loved it!

Simply amazing!

The goat trail is one of my favorite hikes in this area. Easy but rocky downhill hike on the way in and a little challenging coming back out. The amazing views from the bluffs are well worth the effort!

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike! With all the rain that fell this last week the falls were flowing good! The cave was very busy so didn't get to spend a lot of time in it. This is another popular hike in the area so be aware if you don't like crowds. There is a picnic shelter and bathrooms at the start which makes it nice if you are planning to do several hikes in the area.

Did the basic loop due to time constraints. Leave yourself half a day if you want to see it all. Quiet and beautiful trail with lots of scenery. Tip. Do the loop clockwise. It makes the climb back up easier

Cave falls are amazing. Easy hike up to the first falls, but has the extras for those who want to explore

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

backpacking
1 month ago

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

hiking
1 month ago

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

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