for the official web page of Arkansas State Parks
The Arkansas tourist bureau puts out a great Camper's & Hiker's Guide book that lists a ton of the trails in the state. Pick up a copy of this if you can.
Arkansas Pictures (9 pictures)
Evan's Point Loop - Lake Fort Smith State Park Directions: 75 North to I40 west (middle of Oklahoma) to 540 North to exit 29 (follow signs to Lake Fort Smith State Park). About 285 miles, 4 1/2 hours. Stop at the park headquarters and get a trail map. The trail head is at the far end of the top of the dam. Free Trails: Evan's Point Loop goes for 3 miles along the hillside of Lake Fort Smith. You start with a boring hike across the damn and then up a number of stairs to the true trail. It is mostly a one-person width trail. After 3 miles is the start of the Ozark Highland Trail (187 mile trail) and the loop back. For the loop back, you have to do a low water crossing and it goes back on the other side of the lake (I didn't do this as I was cold enough without getting my feet wet). I went a little ways on the Ozark Highland Trail, but didn't go far as it was flat to start and I had Devil's Den on my mind (caves). I came back the way I went. Area: Woodsy with some elevation change. I went at the tail end of the changing of the leaves (still pretty, but not as impressive). It was a cool day when I went, so I had it mostly to myself, but would worry about boat noise from the lake for a pretty day. Picture When I did the hike: early December 2000 Recommendation: If you are near by, maybe, but don't take extra effort to get there.
Devil's Den State Park Directions: [From Evan's Loop: 71 North to 182 West to (about 1/2 mile) 540 North] 75 North to I40 west (middle of Oklahoma) to 540 North to exit 45 and 74 West to park entrance. About 300 miles [20 miles from Evan's Loop] Free. To hike the Butterfield Hiking Trail, you need to get a backcountry hiking permit (even for a day hike) at the visitor center (it is free). Trails: For my December 2000 trip, I made the side trip purely for the caves. The Devil's Den trail is a short 1 1/2 mile loop that has two fracture caves along the way and a couple of other neat looking things. It is a rugged trail and you do a little bit of climbing. You'll need a flash light to go into the Devil's Den cave - it does go back quite a ways and there are small bats in the cave. I was rushed for time and didn't go into the 2nd cave. The Butterfield Hiking Trail is 15 mile loop trail. There is a 450 feet elevation change a couple of miles in from both ends of the hike and another climb in the middle of the trail, but the trail is surprisingly level outside of those climbs/descends. There are 3 starting points and you can head in either direction (you pick the starting point and direction when you fill out the permit). I started at the playground across from the suspension bridge and headed counter-clockwise (with a 15 minute detour as I couldn't figure out which way was "counter-clockwise" - don't go across the bridge for the start I was supposed to have). The width of the sometimes rocky trail varies between one- and two-person width - it goes to two when it joins with other trails. The trail is marked with blue dots on the trees - double dots indicate that the direction of the trail is about to change - and there are occasional steel poles with "BHT" on it indicating the trail - keep an eye of for both the dots and the poles to make sure you keep on the correct trail. It is a very nice, well defined forest trail. Don't take the Junction Camp side trip (unless you want to camp there) - the cemetery for Anna is somewhere across from Lee Creek (on the other side of Junction Camp, not Blackburn Creek which you walk next towards Junction Camp. There is no trail to the cemetery and it is a wet water crossing to the other side of Lee Creek. Near the end/beginning of the trail is an old cemetery (there is a sign on the trail pointing it out), but I only notice 2 headstones and the writing was no longer visible. This is also the area for "several old homesites", but I didn't notice any remains indicating their location. The end/beginning of the trail is a long wet water crossing of Lee Creek at Area A Campground next to campsite #7. It took me 7 hours (including my 40 minute Junction Camp side trip) to hike the Butterfield Hiking Trail (and I was hiking at a good clip). There are also a couple of other shorter trails in this nice park. Area: Rocky, mountainous area with tress. Picture When I did the hike: early December 2000 (cave), October 14, 2001 (Butterfield) Recommendation: Caves are cool. The Butterfield Hiking Trail is a long, nice hike - but it is either an all or nothing trail, so don't start unless you are ready to go 15 miles.
War Eagle Trail - Withrow Springs SP Directions: I540 to Hwy 412 (city of Springdale) east for 25 miles to Hwy 23. Then north on Hwy 23 for about 5 miles. Or from Eureka Springs: Hwy 62 to Hwy 23 and south on Hwy 23 for about 22 miles. Stay on Hwy 23 (not the road that goes through the park) and park in the gravel parking area on the west side of the road, just to the north of the pavilion/picnic area. The trail starts on the other side of the road. Free. Trails: After crossing the road, the wide trail heads next to the trees with an open field (with some park buildings in the distance) to the right. At the bench, the trail takes a right and narrows. It heads down the hillside, with a couple of overlooks and some wooden steps for a steeper section. Then it is fairly mild as it goes alongside (though mostly a little inland from) the creek before coming out on Hwy 23. Lots of road noise. Trail Length: 1 mile one-way Area: Trees and bluff next to the War Eagle Creek. When I did the hike: Monday, October 27, 2008 Recommendation: No, blah.
Pigeon Roost trail - Hobbs State Park Directions: I540 to Hwy 12 (city of Rogers). East on Hwy 12 for 13 miles (a few miles past the Hwy 303 turnoff). Keep an eye out for the turnoff on the north side of the road and the parking area is just ahead - there is a large info sign about the trail next to the parking area at the trailhead. Vault toilet. Free. Trails: The trail starts out wide as it heads at a downward angle through the trees. A short ways into the hike is a neat looking tree on the right that that has an L-shape to it - it's a "thong" tree that native americans created to mark a direction. After about .5 miles, the trail narrows and heads along a hillside. Then it is down to a gully and the loop junction. Take a left and the trail heads up alongside the gully for a ways. The trail stays in the trees and heads up (there are a number of ups and downs to the hike). After about 2 miles is a trail junction - continue straight (take a right for the shorter loop hike). After another mile or so, the trail reaches the first of the backcountry campsites and you get your first glimpse of the lake. The trail stays high above the water (and inland some) before gradually heading down closer to the water and then rounding a point. The trail then heads inland (again, more ups and downs) and goes by a couple of sink holes (nothing exciting). A little bit after the short loop junction, the trail goes next to the lake for a short bit before heading up a gully and eventually reaching the end of the loop. Take a left for the spur trail back to the parking area. Trail Length: 8.5 mile loop (or shorter 5 mile loop) Area: Woods and hills, a branch of the large Beaver Lake is visible for two sections long the top of the loop. When I did the hike: Monday, October 27, 2008 Recommendation: Kind of nice, but not that pretty or exciting. Didn't help that it was cold (in the low 40s the entire hike) and most of the colorful leaves were gone.
Hot Springs National Park Directions: About 4 1/2 hours from Plano. Take I-30 to Arkadelphia and take Highway 7 to Hot Springs. Hot Springs National Park is right on Highway 7. Free. (But you have to pay for parking in the city. And don't go cheap if you park at a meter - do at least 7 hours [I did 6 hours the first time and had to rush to get back just after it expired].) Trails: There are a number of smaller trails around the headquarters/bath houses. Stop in the park information building (one of the bath houses) and pick up a trail map. The big trail is the Sunset trail. You can get to the start of the trail by hiking up Prospect Avenue a little ways to the start of the trail next to West Mt. Summit Drive (little bit of a walk through a residential area) or at the end of a very short alley off of Highway 7 between Fountain St and Whittington Avenue [do the latter]. The trail is an about 13 mile endurance test. It is clear that you are on a trail, but there are no trail indicators along the way (though there are a handful of distance signs). There are a couple of forks/question spots. For the first fork on the Sunset trail, I take the left/straight branch and then after a little bit hit the dirt road for the radio towers where you go left and then right and the trail continues to the left near the far radio tower [I think the right branch re-joins this branch after the towers]. After crossing Cedar Glades Road (the second road), continue on the straight trail/dirt road (it should soon look like a real trail, not just a road). Along this part, there are some orange marks occasionally marking the trail. After forever and a day, there is a fork in the trail - go right (I'm not sure where the other branch goes and I don't want to know; I'm dead tired by then). The trail comes out on a road. Take the road to the left and around the corner to Highway 7. There is a BBQ restaurant at the corner across the street that is good place to stop for a break before the last leg. The trail continues to the left of the BBQ place along the road. Once you get to the Gorge Trail-Dead Chief Trail junction, you'll have your choice as to how you wish to finish your hike (the Gorge Trail is steep). The trails are a one to two person width and are well defined. They are fairly smooth (not many rocks) and there is elevation changes along the way. Area: The trails go through the woods in the Ouachita mountains. There are not many scenic views from the trail - take the short Balanced Rock side trip for a nice view and a good place to rest. The park is in the city and you can hear car noises for the first and last hour of the hike. When I did the hike: September 1998, September 1999 Recommendation: It's good workout, but I can't really recommend it. I've been twice (both in Septembers) and can't say I enjoyed either one. I don't know if it was just the moods I was in, the long drive, the lack of good scenery, the time of year, the car noises, or the abundance of spider webs. If you are in the area (Hot Springs is a tourist spot), you may want to do it just to say you did, but I wouldn't make a trip there specifically to hike the trail.
Crater of Diamonds State Park Directions: $4 to diamond hunt Trails: There are two trails in the park. One is a couple miles loop through the woods and briefly along the river. It's pretty and peaceful, but buggy and flat. The other trail is also a loop, but I didn't hike much of it as it was a very wide, flat, dirt road. Area: When I did the hike: September 1998 Recommendation: Don't go for the trails. But sitting and sifting through dirt for a couple of hours after a day of hiking can be fun.
Mount Magazine State Park Directions: Take I40 to Ozark and take Rt 23 south over the river (may have to weave through town (north side of river) to get to 23 south). Shortly after going over the river, turn right on to Rt 309. From there is it 33 miles (long drive as the road is not straight) to the park turn. After the State Park sign, continue on Rt 309 as it heads up the hillside and after a bit take the right for the park road next to the small visitor center (also on the right). Drive the park road further up the mountain side to the junction with the loop road at the top. Take a right at the top and continue straight past the first right turn (Cameron Bluff Overlook Drive) and then there is another road to the right - there is room for a couple of vehicles to park at that turn. The trailhead is across the road, on the left, with a sign. You can also access the summit trail from just past the lodge (no parking) and just to the left of the park road-top loop junction. Free. No facilities. Trails: At 2,753 feet, Mountain Magazine is Arkansas' tallest mountain - that is the main lure for trail (there are other longer trails in the park). It is a good, 2-person width trail that weaves its way through the trees up to the summit (with a large sign at the summit). From the summit you can go back the way you can (which I did as I was hiking on a sprained ankle and this was a "side trip" on my way to Missouri) or continue on the trail down the south side and then take a left at the junction and a left at the next junction back to the trailhead. It is pretty and colorful with the fall colors. Trail Length + Elevation: .5 miles one-way (bit of an up, not too hard) 1.5 miles for the loop trail Area: Trees, small mountain When I did the hike: Monday, October 31, 2011 Recommendation: Out of the way, but it is always neat to bag another tallest state point.
Indian Rock House Nature Trail Directions: I-40 to Highway 65 north to Highway 27 east to Highway 14 north to Highway 268 to Buffalo Point/Buffalo River State Park. Free. Trails: About a 3 mile loop down to the Indian Rockhouse Cave. Add two more miles if you go to the Bat Cave (the trail is "closed" certain times of the year during mating season). There is a little elevation change to the Indiana cave and a nice climb over a small mountain to the bat cave. The Indian cave area is neat. To get to the bat cave trail, follow the creek to the right of the cave area a short ways and the trail goes up (and up and up) to the left. The trails are mostly one-person width. Area: Hilly, forestry area. The Indian cave trail goes along a small creek for a bit. [Note: there are no Indian ruins or relics at the cave.] Picture Recommendation: Not quite worth the long drive out there [I stayed at a hotel Friday night and did this trail and the Rush trail the next day and then drove back - I think it was a 6.5 hour drive], but it is pretty and the Indian cave is really neat. The trail was too easy for my taste, but the bat cave trail made it a bit of a workout.
Rush Mountain Trail Directions: I-40 to Highway 65 north to Highway 27 east to Highway 14 north to to country road 635 (small road that turns to dirt near Rush) to Rush. [Do a map search on Rush, AR.] Free. Trails: The description says that this is a loop trail (I didn't have a trail map), but I turned around after 2.5 hours as I wasn't sure if it really was a loop and I had a long drive home ahead of me. The trail starts at the far end of the ghost town (there is a small parking area) and goes up past a couple of buildings and through a destroyed building's foundation. For the first mile or two, the trail goes past a number of abandoned mines - there are fences around the mine openings (but they are easy to get around - but I don't recommended entering them). The trail then continues on and there are a couple of pretty views of the Buffalo river. The trail is a one-person width trail along the mountain in the trees. There is a climb at the start, but not too much up-and-down after that. Area: Rush is a ghost town from the ore mining days. There are a number of abandoned buildings in the area that you can roam around (some are fenced in). Picture Recommendation: It's a neat place with the ghost town and the mines. I liked it and I'd go back to see where the trail actually ends.
Lost Valley - Buffalo River Directions: Hwy 7 to Jasper and head west on Hwy 74 (mountain driving) for 14 miles to Ponco. Continue straight (turns into Hwy 43) (or make a brief stop at the historic home at the junction) and a little over a mile ahead is the signed turnoff on the right for Lost Valley. Note: The Buffalo River is about a mile away - it's next to Hwy 43. Flush toilets. Free. Trails: At the end of the parking lot, cross the bridge and the mild, wide trail heads through the woods alongside a creek. Take a right at the two trail junctions to continue alongside the creek. Not too far ahead is a small falls coming through a tunnel with a small pool in front of it. If the water in the pool is low, walk around to the other side and look up through the tunnel (you maybe able to crawl through the tunnel to the other side, but I wouldn't recommend that). The trail gets harder from here with lots of rock steps heading up to the cove. The 150 foot deep and 250 foot long bluff cove has been used for shelter for ages and is kind of neat to explore. Just past the cove is Eden Falls, not much more than a trickle when I was there, but it does drop a total of 170 feet. It's a steep up from the falls to the cave, above the falls. Supoosedly there is a room in the cave with a 35 foot waterfall, but I didn't go into the cave (if you do go inside, you'll need a flashlight). Take the right trail at the junctions on the way back for a little more variety (though the way you came is more interesting). Trail Length: 1.5 miles one-way Area: Hills and woods of the Ozarks. Creek, thin waterfall, bluff cove, and a natural cave. Picture When I did the hike: Saturday, October 25, 2008 Recommendation: Short, but with the variety, worth a visit.
Buffalo River trail from Erbie Directions: On Hwy 7, about 5 miles north of Jasper (but before crossing the Buffalo River), head east on the Erbie Campground road (there is a sign on Hwy 7 for the turn). It is a long 5 miles on the narrow gravel road (have to pull to the side when cars come the other direction) in the mountains to the Erbie Campground. Continue straight for a mile as the road takes an unpleasant (but still passable) down through a gully. You'll pass by the Parker-Hickman homestead on the left (worth a visit - can also pick up the trail at the top right of the homestead). A little bit further ahead on the road is a small parking area just before the road crosses the river. No facilities, but flush toilets in the Erbie campground area. Free. Trails: From the parking area near the river crossing, the trail heads through the small field and then a short up into the trees to the junction with the Buffalo River Trail. Taking a right, the trail heads through the trees along a ridge above the river, with a farm field to the left and then fully in the trees. After .6 miles, the trail T-junctions with an old dirt road - take a left and a short bit ahead on the left is the Cherry Grove Cemetry. It is interesting to wander through the old cemetry as there are several tombstones from the 1800s, including a legible one of a civil war soldier (the writing on most of the older ones are illegible). Continuing up on the dirt road a short ways, keep an eye out to the right where the trail continues as a one-person width trail through the tress - there are some small ups and down to the trail. Then it comes out above the river with some pretty views. I turned around shortly after the stone steps. Trail Length: 3 miles around trip, my hike from Erbie 36 mile total length for Buffalo River trail, but there are a number of access points and you can hike much shorter sections Area: Hills and tress of the Ozarks, next to the Buffalo River Picture When I did the hike: Sunday, October 26, 2008 Recommendation: If you make the long drive out the Erbie, yes. The cemetry is interesting and there are some nice views of the river.
Cecil Creek trail, Erbie - Buffalo River Directions: On Hwy 7, about 5 miles north of Jasper (but before crossing the Buffalo River), head east on the Erbie Campground road (there is a sign on Hwy 7 for the turn). It is a long 5 miles on the narrow gravel road (have to pull to the side when cars come the other direction) in the mountains to the Erbie Campground. Continue straight for a mile - the road takes an unpleasant (but still passable) down and then the Parker-Hickman homestead is to the left (worth a visit). A little bit further ahead on the road is a small parking area just before the road crosses the river. I parked there as the trail description I had said to do so. But, if the river is not too high, you can take your car on the road further as it has two wet water crossings (cement under an inch or two of water) and then bare left and continue up the gravel road to the old church, on the left. There is a small parking area, picnic table, and toilets just north of the church - it's also the trailhead, with an info sign. Free. Trails: From where I parked, I had a 2 wet water crossings right away and then a mile walk up the road (and it does head up) to the trailhead. The trail heads through the trees and drops some (not steep) and eventually reaches a (dry when I was there) creek bed. The trail then heads along side the creek, crossing it a few times, for about 2 miles - a fairly uneventful hike. The trail then gets a little prettier as it heads up (at times a harder up) to the trail junction. Continue straight at the junction (to the right is a narrow trail for 1 mile to Broadhollow Falls (didn't do)). After a little over .5 miles is a small cemetry (early 1900s) on the right. The trail continues up and at the junction, take a left - a short ways to the right is an old homestead (nothing left but part of a chimmney and some foundation stones). The trail heads at a down for a bit next to an old stone fence. The trail crosses a creek and has some ups and dos along the way, but is mostly mild. After rounding the mountainside, the trail reaches a gravel road - 2 miles from the cemetry. Take a left on the road. You can take the road for 1.4 miles back to the trailhead. Or after a little bit of heading down on the road, look for the horse trail to the right for the Farmer Homestead trail. It's a rough, rugged, rocky, steep down on an old road for 1 mile to an old house. From here you have several options. You can head to the right and have a wet water crossing of the Buffalo River and then head up and connect with the Buffalo River Trail just short of the Cherry Grove Cemetry. For the loop I did, head left and then take another left at the next trail junction for the Goat Overlook Trail (going straight is still a horse trail and has two crossings of the Buffalo River). The steep trail heads up, up, up with rock steps. As the trail continues above the river, there are some really nices views of the river valley. The Goat Overlook Trail is .8 miles long. At the next trail junction, continue straight (if you are parked at the trailhead, taking a left may give a shorter return, but I don't know). The trail then heads down, down, down and re-joins the horse trail. Take a left and the trail goes by the long farm field, pass the barn, and then you are at the road. If you parked on the other side of the river, take a right and the river crossings are just ahead. If you parked at the trailhead, take a left and go a mile up the road. Trail Length: 8.5 mile full loop 6.7 mile loop from trailhead with walking road back instead heading down to near the river Area: Hills and trees of the Ozarks. 3 old abandoned houses. A pretty section above the Buffalo River. Picture When I did the hike: Sunday, October 26, 2008 Recommendation: A pretty hike in the fall, the Goat Overlook section was the best and prettiest part of the hike.
Alum Cove Directions: Hwy 7 north Hwy 16 west, 15 miles south of Jasper. Head on Hwy 16 west for a very short bit (less than a mile) and take the 2nd right turn (sign for Alum Cove). The head north on Hwy 327 for a little over a mile to the Alum Cove Recreation Area. $3 selfpay fee. Trails: The trail starts in the center of the parking area on the north side and heads through the picnic area and then starts heading down. At times it's a steep down. At the bottom is a 130 foot long natural bridge. After exploring underneath the bridge, continue straight and then start heading up and then cross the bridge on top to re-join the trail from the way down. Trail Length: 1 mile total Area: Hills and trees of the Ozarks. A long, natural bridge. When I did the hike: Saturday, October 25, 2008 Recommendation: Na. Maybe if you are in the area, but with the fee, it's not worth it.
Pedestal Rocks Scenic Area Directions: From I40, head north on Hwy 7 for a good ways (30 miles of mountain driving). At the junction with Hwy 16 (stop sign), take a right onto Hwy 16 for about 6 miles. At the Pedestal Rocks sign, take a right on the narrow (but short) dirt road to the small parking area. Note that it is popular, especially on pretty weekends in the fall, and you may have to get creative to find a parking spot. Pit toilet. Free. Trails: There are 2 loop trails in the area, both short enough to hike both in one outing. King's Bluff Loop: Heading counter-clockwise, the one-person width trail heads through the trees with a mild down (so some up on the backside of the loop). The trail stays in the trees for less than a mile to the bluffs. The bluffs are a long rock cliff (you're at the top) with some nice views of the hills beyond. After the bluffs, the trail is back in the trees until it junctions with the Pedestal Rocks Loop, .1 mile from the parking area. Pedestal Rocks Loop: Heading counter-clockwise, the trail is a little wider for the 1 mile walk at a mild down through the trees to a short bluff area. Just past those bluffs is a longer bluff area that has the pedestal rocks - a number of isolated rock spires and small rock islands just in front of the bluff. The back portion of the loop is not as wide (one-person width) and is back in the trees to the completion of the loop, with a bit of an up at the end. Trail Length: 1.7 miles King's Bluff Loop 2.2 miles Pedestal Rocks Loop Area: Hills and woods of the Ozarks. 2 bluff/overlook sections. Picture When I did the hike: Saturday, October 25, 2008 Recommendation: A ways from anything, but if you are visiting the Ozarks in the area or heading towards the Buffalo River, a pretty outing, especially in the fall.
North Sylamore Trail Directions: In Arkansas, I40 to Hwy 65 north to Hwy 9 west/north to Hwy 14 east at Allison. There are 4 trail accesses points. To get to the Allison trailhead: right after turning on Hwy 14, go over the river and take a right onto the dirt road right after the bridge - there was a short, small signed saying Hiking Trail -> (no road name) - and go a short ways on the _one_lane_ (pray no one comes the other direction) to the parking area in front of the pasture (no facilities). For the Blanchard Springs area: take 14 a number of miles to FM 1110 and the sign saying Blanchard Springs ->. The trail to Allison is top of the parking area for the swim hole. The trail to Gunner Pool is in the picnic area on the other side of the road from the swim hole. For the Gunner Pool area: take 14 to the town of Fifty Six and take a right on FM1102/ST93 - there was a sign saying Gunner Pool Campground ->. Go 3 miles on the wide gravel/dirt road to the campground. The trail to Blanchard Springs is on the road right before the first turn-in for the campground. For the Barkshed area: take 14 past the town of Fifty Six and take a right on FM1112/ST55 (gravel) to ST76 to the campground (about 3 miles from Hwy 14). About 470 miles from Allen, Texas. Free. [there is a fee for the Blanchard Springs area] Trails: The North Sylamore trail is a 13 3/4 miles one-way trail along and above the Sylamore creek in the Ozark National Forest. I had my dad with me, so we were able to put cars at Gunner Pool and Allison to do a 9 3/4 miles one-way hike. We started at the trailhead in Allison. The trail starts through the pasture and then along the creek (the trail is sandy here) and then a wet water crossing through the creek to the other side (I believe this is the only wet water crossing). Unfortunately, we missed where the trail turns off from the dirt road and continued on the road, crossed the creek again, the road ended, back across the creek, up the road a little ways and onto a "trail". It turned out to be what I suspected a short ways in - a horse trail (but we didn't want to backtrack). So after 2 more wet water crossings and 2 miles of sandy trail, the horse trail finally intersected with the real hiking trail and we became happier trekkers. The one-person width dirt trail, with occasional sandy parts and a small stretches of old road, had some mild ups and downs and some nice scenery. The trail comes out near the swim hole (and it seemed like a small area to be calling a swim hole) of the Blanchard Springs area - we had lunch here. The trail continues across the road in the picnic area and has a good climb up a small mountain. There are some areas here with moss hanging from the trees. On the down side of the mountain, the trail goes past 2 crumbling shacks (they weren't that interesting) and then levels out along the creek for a little ways. After another good climb up a small mountain is a sign indicating Gunner Pool is only a mile away. It took us about 4 hours, 50 minutes to hike the 9 3/4 miles (includes extra time for taking off and putting on shoes for the 5 creek crossing with our detour). There are occasional metal signs indicating the trail's direction, but most of the white blazes on trees indicating the trail had faded away. Trail Length: 13 3/4 miles (one-way) Allison - Blanchard Springs: 4 3/4 miles (one-way) Blanchard Springs - Gunner Pool: 5 miles (one-way) Gunner Pool - Barkshed: 4 miles (one-way) Area: Woods and creek in the Ozark Mountains. When I did the hike: October 5, 2002 Recommendation: It was a nice trail, but not as awesome as some reports I read about the trail and scenery. I wouldn't make a trip purely for this hike, but if you are in the area, it is be a nice trail to hike. The trail had too many icky sandy parts (and that's excluding the horse trail) and dirt road parts for my liking. If you are limited to doing one section of the trail, pick one of the Gunner Pool branches.