Hawksbill Crag (Whitaker Point) Trail (Ozark Forest) – 3 mi

Hawksbill Crag (Whitaker Point) Trail (Ozark Forest) – 3 mi photo
Hawksbill Crag (Whitaker Point), Ozark National Forest

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.

Hawksbill Crag (Whitaker Point) Trail (Ozark Forest) – 3 mi photo
View of Whitaker Creek Valley from Hawksbill Crag Trail
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

Ouachita Trail 02: Pics of Pashubbe TH to Kiamichi River TH (Wilton Mtn.) (34.3 – 39.2)

Ouachita Trail 02: Pics of Pashubbe TH to Kiamichi River TH (Wilton Mtn.) (34.3 - 39.2) photo
Facing southeast, near the summit on Wilton Mountain. Kiamichi Mountains in the distance.

Back in early December, I hiked the 4.8 mile Ouachita Trail Section 2 segment that climbs over Wilton Mountain (LeFlore County, Oklahoma), an offshoot of Rich Mountain.

It goes from the Pashubbe Trailhead (mile point 34.3) to the Kiamichi River Trailhead (mile point 39.2). I did it as a 9.6-mile out-and-back hike.

Ouachita Trail 02: Pics of Pashubbe TH to Kiamichi River TH (Wilton Mtn.) (34.3 - 39.2) photo
There are some trees growing in parts of the road trace part of the trail on the east side of Wilton Mountain.

It’s a vigorous out-and-back hike with 2,100 feet of total ascent. There are some very nice views on Wilton Mountain, especially during leaf-off.

My trail profile for this segment is at this link. These are some additional photos from my December 5, 2015 hike.
Continue reading Ouachita Trail 02: Pics of Pashubbe TH to Kiamichi River TH (Wilton Mtn.) (34.3 – 39.2)

Mount Nebo: Nebo Steps/Nebo Springs Trails Loop – .5 mi

Mount Nebo: Nebo Steps/Nebo Springs Trails Loop - .5 mi photo
Nebo Steps Trail, Mount Nebo State Park

Mount Nebo State Park (Yell County, near Dardanelle and Russellville) is a beautiful place. This loop covers two of the trails on the mountain. It’s a short hike, but it’s vigorous and pretty cool.

There are 2 main levels on Mount Nebo, the bench level and the rim level at the top. Nebo Steps and Nebo Springs are 2 of the trails that connect the levels.

This .7-mile hike takes Nebo Steps Trail down to the Bench Road Trail and then takes the Nebo Springs Trail back up. Then the Rim Trail takes you back to the start.

Mount Nebo: Nebo Steps/Nebo Springs Trails Loop - .5 mi photo
Boulder on the Nebo Springs Trail
Continue reading Mount Nebo: Nebo Steps/Nebo Springs Trails Loop – .5 mi

Robbers Cave Nature Trail — .5 mi

Robbers Cave Nature Trail -- .5 mi photo
View from higher elevation of the Robbers Cave Nature Trail (panoramic).

Robbers Cave Nature Trail is a pretty cool .4-mile loop trail at Robbers Cave State Park (Latimer County, Oklahoma, near Wilburton) in the Sans Bois Mountains of southeast Oklahoma. It’s a must-see if you’re in the area.

The trail goes around and over some really cool rock formations, including the namesake Robbers Cave.

Robbers Cave Nature Trail -- .5 mi photo
Robbers Cave, adjacent to the nature trail

Continue reading Robbers Cave Nature Trail — .5 mi