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

Compton’s Double Falls, Amber Falls, Owl Falls (Ozark Forest)

Compton's Double Falls, Amber Falls, Owl Falls (Ozark Forest) photo
Compton’s Double Falls,, Ozark National Forest

Hawksbill Crag/Whitaker Point (Newton County, Upper Buffalo Wilderness Area, Ozark National Forest) is among the most visited and photographed spots Arkansas — and for good reason. However, deep in the valley below Whitaker Point lies a beautiful valley formed by Whitaker Creek. During wet season, there are an abundance of waterfalls that are not visited nearly as often as the popular bluff above.

This area has been on my list for a while, but awaiting the right weather conditions (times of high water and leaf-off are best) has been key.  The area proved to be worth the wait. There are no formal trails here, but when we visited on January 2, we found everything we were looking for without much problem and without a GPS. (We did have the help of a guidebook.)

I suspect reaching these areas in the late spring or summer when the undergrowth has grown up would be a challenge.

Compton's Double Falls, Amber Falls, Owl Falls (Ozark Forest) photo
Amber Falls, Ozark National Forest
Continue reading Compton’s Double Falls, Amber Falls, Owl Falls (Ozark Forest)

Earthquake Ridge Trail + Southern Loop (Ouachita Forest) – 3 mi

Earthquake Ridge Trail + Southern Loop (Ouachita Forest) – 3 mi photo
View to the north from the east side of the Earthquake Ridge Trail (main loop)

The Earthquake Ridge Trail is a short moderately challenging loop trail in the Ouachita National Forest, just north of Mena, Arkansas. It has one main loop and several additional loops, all at the southeast end of Rich Mountain.

On this hike, we are doing the main loop plus the Southern Loop. By my measurements, the entire walk is just under 3 miles.

The 2 loops together basically make one long loop that goes around a 1-mile stretch of the Talimena Scenic Drive.

Earthquake Ridge Trail + Southern Loop (Ouachita Forest) – 3 mi photo
Earthquake Ridge Trail, east side

Continue reading Earthquake Ridge Trail + Southern Loop (Ouachita Forest) – 3 mi

Ouachita Trail 01: Pics of Horsethief Springs to FR 6014 (19.9 – 21.7)

Ouachita Trail 01: Pics of Horsethief Springs to FR 6014 (19.9 – 21.7) photo
Ouachita Trail between Horsethief Springs and FR 6014

One of my favorite parts of the Ouachita Trail to walk is the 1.6 or so mile stretch of Section 1 between Horsethief Springs and Forest Road 6014 (to the east). This is on Winding Stair Mountain (Ouachita National Forest, LeFlore County, Oklahoma).

It’s easy to get to, and it’s an enjoyable scenic hillside walk on a part of the trail that’s usually in good condition. Much of it is lined with interesting rocks.

Ouachita Trail 01: Pics of Horsethief Springs to FR 6014 (19.9 – 21.7) photo
Ouachita Trail

Continue reading Ouachita Trail 01: Pics of Horsethief Springs to FR 6014 (19.9 – 21.7)