The Rough Canyon Trail is one of the most popular trails at Robbers Cave State Park (near Wilburton, Latimer County, Oklahoma). It’s a scenic 2.9-mile loop that starts about 100 feet from the Robbers Cave Nature Trail (the cave area).
Among the trail’s highlights are the Rough Canyon (a creek valley) and Lost Lake areas.
This is moderately challenging trail with about 500 feet of cumulative elevation gain. The elevation change is only about 250 feet though.
Quite a bit of the trail is rocky. While lots of rocks can make walking a bit tougher, they also add beauty and character.
The 2.5-mile segment of the Ouachita Trail from Winding Stair Trailhead to the saddle around mile point 25.8 is a cool one. It’s on Winding Stair Mountain (Ouachita National Forest, LeFlore County, Oklahoma) and goes to the highpoint (at 2,450 feet) before heading downhill to the saddle.
Most of the climb to the highpoint is on a road trace, but it was a really cool walk on December 30 with the snow-covered trees.
The trek down to the saddle was also pretty cool. It’s a long series of switchbacks with really interesting topography and some pretty views during leaf-off.
I love Lake Leatherwood (Eureka Springs, Carroll County). It’s a 1,600-acre municipal park that’s mostly wilderness. It has lots of great hiking and biking trails. It’s owned and run by the City of Eureka Springs.
The Beacham Trail makes a 3.2-mile loop around the lake. It has some mild climbing, but it’s not a difficult hike.
The trail has some very nice views of the lake, particularly on the north side where the trail crosses the top of the dam.
If you’ve spent much time in the Buffalo River area, you’ve seen pictures of Hawksbill Crag (aka Whitaker Point). It is one of the most photographed spots in the area, and with good reason.
The hike to Hawksbill Crag is a short one, and it is relatively easy. Getting to the trailhead is a bit trickier.
Directions to Hawksbill Crag (Whitaker Point) Trail
The trail is in the part of the Upper Buffalo Wilderness Area (Newton County) that is in the Ozark National Forest.
To get to the trailhead from Ponca, take Highway 43 south from Ponca toward Boxley. When it merges with Highway 21, take the southern route and continue on to Boxley. Right before you cross the Buffalo River, there is a gravel road on the right called Cave Mountain Road. (It may not be marked.)
Turn right onto Cave Mountain Road. You’ll know you’re at the right place when the gravel road heads up, seemingly straight up. This is a rough, rocky, steep road. I will note that we’ve made the trip many times in our 2-wheel drive car without problems, but never when the road was wet and potentially slippery. Continue reading Hawksbill Crag (Whitaker Point) Trail (Ozark Forest) – 3 mi→