Beacham Trail at Lake Leatherwood (Eureka Springs, Carroll County) is a cool 3.2-mile trail that is not very difficult. It makes a loop around the lake and has some nice views, especially at the north end where the trail goes across the dam.
The hike to Big Creek Cave Falls (Newton County, Ozark National Forest) and along Big Creek is one of the best surprise hikes in the Ozarks. This is a spectacular area and is now one of our favorite places in northwest Arkansas.
It’s surprising that in 12 years of coming to the area I’d never heard anyone even mention this great hike and unique waterfall. I had just pulled it out of Tim Ernst’s Arkansas Waterfalls book and thought, “That looks cool. We should check it out.” And it is definitely worth checking out.
The setting is beautiful. There are multiple waterfalls in the area; two of which pour right out of a cave. And the creek itself has a lot of spectacular water features, and the grand finale does not disappoint.
There is no official trail. However, half of the trail is very easy to navigate; the other half requires some imagination and bushwhacking.
The best time to check out the trail is probably in early spring when the water is up, but before the growth in the woods becomes too challenging to navigate.
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.