The Best Trails in Arkansas to Hike for Epic Views and Awe-Inspiring Sights
There are countless trails in Arkansas, especially across the western half of the state, ranging from a few feet to a few hundred miles in length. Listing all the possible hiking, cycling, mountain biking and motorcycling trails would constitute its own publication, but here are a few of our favorites.
Bench Road Trail
Mount Nebo State Park
3.5 miles | Easy
This trail is actually an old wagon road that circles just below the rim of the mountain.
♦ Detour: If you climb to the top of Mount Nebo, Mount Nebo Falls is located only 100 yards down the trail.
Lost Valley Trail
Lost Valley near Ponca
2 miles | Easy to Moderate
This trail, which is one of the most popular trails near the Buffalo National River because of its breathtaking scenery, is home to caves, a natural bridge and 350-foot Eden Falls.
3 miles | Moderate
Whitaker Point (also known as Hawksbill Crag) is a favorite among hikers. It’s known for being one of the “Best Places in Arkansas to Get Kissed,” the backdrop for the opening scene in the film “Tuck Everlasting,” and a prime location for engagements and photography.
Buffalo National River
6 miles | Hard
Find the waterfall via the Compton Trailhead. The falls is the tallest-known waterfall between the Rockies and Appalachians standing at 210 feet tall.
Mirror Lake Trail
Near Mountain View
2 miles | Easy
This trail explores the area outside Blanchard Springs Cavern. The water that flows out of the cavern eventually reaches the Civilian Conservation Corps-era dam and creates Mirror Lake. You will also see a CCC mill and beautiful cascade waterfall.
Bridal Veil Falls Trail
Near Heber Springs
0.5 mile | Easy
A scenic, simple trail with a beautiful waterfall pay off — a bucket list hike in Arkansas.
Sugarloaf Mountain Trails
1.5 miles | Moderate to Hard
The fairly worn path gains elevation rather quickly. Once you reach the base of the peak, some rock climbing is required in order to reach Sugarloaf’s peak, but once on top, the peak plateaus affording you panoramic views. Not to be confused with Sugar Loaf Mountain, a neighboring attraction on the western side of Greers Ferry Lake.
Butterflies & Blooms Trail
Lake Charles State Park
0.3 mile | Easy
The trail meanders through wildflowers and a wildlife habitat that changes each week through the season.
Dancing Rabbit Trail
Crowley’s Ridge State Park
1.5 miles | Easy
This trail leads hikers through a Native American campground with multiple bridges, including a swinging bridge, and explores the hills and valleys of Crowley’s Ridge.
Great Blue Heron Trail
Lake Poinsett State Park
1.1 miles | Easy
This trail loop leads to beautiful views of Lake Poinsett. Be on the lookout for white-tailed deer, red fox, grey squirrel and wood ducks.
♦ Detour: This trail walks through different songbird and waterfowl habitats and is a great trail for bird watchers.
Arkansas Post National Memorial Trail System
2 miles | Easy
Behind the museum, two miles of trails guide hikers through the historic town surrounding the site and the Civil War trenches that still remain from the Battle of Arkansas Post in 1863.
Delta View Trail
Cane Creek State Park
2.5 miles | Moderate
Uniquely sitting between the Gulf Coastal Plain and the Delta, this trail provides the terrain of the plains’ rolling hills with the view of Cane Creek Lake in the Delta.
Caddo Bend Trail
Near Mountain Pine
4 miles | Moderate
This trail leads to views of wild flowers, large boulders, and quartz, as well as Lake Ouachita and a peninsula on the east side of the lake—offering another beautiful vantage point.
Eagle Rock Loop
Near Caddo Gap
25 miles | Hard
This long trail is used year-round for hiking, camping, fishing, and backpacking. Because there are five trailheads, hiking smaller portions of this trail is also a really great option. One of the five trailheads provides a shorter hike to Little Missouri Falls.
Petit Jean State Park
4½ miles | Moderate
This trail was called one of the best hiking trails in the state by photographer Tim Ernst, thanks in part to its verdant canopy of hardwood forest. The prime feature, however, is the grotto located halfway through the loop, which consists of a waterfall, water holding area and rock overhang.
♦ Detour: As you hike along the canyon on the south side of Petit Jean, you’ll encounter a natural stone arch, rock shelters and other signs of the Native Americans who used to inhabit the area.
Pinnacle Mountain–West Summit Trail
Pinnacle Mountain State Park
1½ miles | Moderate to Hard
The easier of the two trails to the peak of Pinnacle Mountain (featured on the cover of this magazine!) begins at the picnic grounds and winds up the top of the mountain on a relatively flat path until reaching the area near the top, which becomes more and more rocky.