All posts by Brent Toellner

Brent Toellner is an advertising/media strategist from Kansas City, Missouri who loves to spend time with his wife exploring northwest Arkansas, especially the Buffalo River area. Brent is also the author of the blog Exploring Northwest Arkansas.

Petit Jean: Seven Hollows Trail – 4 mi

Petit Jean: Seven Hollows Trail – 4 mi photo
Natural Bridge, Seven Hollows Trail, Petit Jean State Park

Seven Hollows Trail at Petit Jean State Park (Conway County near Morrilton) is a first-rate hike that features a natural bridge, a grotto waterfall, an a lot of unique views with diverse plant life ranging from ferns to cacti.

The trail takes its name from the seven small streams that run through the area, all of which have carved their own hollows.

The official trail length is 4.5 miles. (Mike’s gps calculation puts it closer to 4.1 miles.) The short spur to the grotto (with seasonal waterfall) adds .2 miles.

It is a loop trail that follows through four of the seven hollows and along ridges between the hollows. Bluff lines, tumbling water (in spring), and interesting plant life are abundant.

It is a vigorous hike with an elevation change of about 360 feet. Most of the climbing is on the second half of the loop.

This is a great hike with a lot to observe, and every part of the hike is scenic.

Petit Jean: Seven Hollows Trail – 4 mi photo
Seven Hollows Trail along the rock bluff

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Cecil Cove Trail Loop (Buffalo River) – 6 mi

Cecil Cove Trail Loop (Buffalo River) - 6 mi photo
Blue pool near Van Dyke Spring

The former community of Erbie (north Newton County, Buffalo National River) offers a variety of hiking trails that can be combined for larger or shorter loops. Because it was a community, many of the trails feature historical sites that tell a story of early settlers to the area.

The 6.4-mile Cecil Cove Trail Loop, much of which follows Cecil Creek, is one of these. It provides a wonderful assortment of spring-fed ponds, streams, historic stone walls, a historic cemetery, former home sites, and a spur trail that leads to a couple of awesome waterfalls.

This is a full day of nature and historic sites that is well worth the trip. The trail is also shared by horses.

The elevation change on the hike is about 850 feet

Cecil Cove Trail Loop (Buffalo River) - 6 mi photo
Cecil Cove Loop Trail – part of the trail follows an old road bed

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Alum Cove Natural Bridge Trail (Ozark Forest) – 1 mi

Alum Cove Natural Bridge Trail (Ozark Forest) - 1 mi photo
The Natural Bridge at Alum Cove from below

The Alum Cove Natural Bridge Trail (near Deer, Newton County, Arkansas, Ozark National Forest) is a relatively short  1.2-mile hike that provides a lot of great features including a couple of waterfalls, a cave, a small stream, and the highlight, the Alum Cove Natural Bridge.

This is a family-friendly destination with a lot of bang for your hiking effort.

I first hiked Alum Cove several years ago, and the area was not in great condition due to some winter storm damage at the time.

At our recent visit in May 2016, it was in much better condition.

Alum Cove Natural Bridge Trail (Ozark Forest) - 1 mi photo
The top of the Natural Bridge

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Fuzzybutt Falls (Richland Creek Wilderness, Ozark Forest)

Fuzzybutt Falls (Richland Creek Wilderness, Ozark Forest) photo
Fuzzybutt Falls, Ozark National Forest

Fuzzybutt Falls (southwest Searcy County, Ozark National Forest) is a waterfall that I’ve always heard about (mostly because of the name) but had no idea what a great, easy hike it is to get to with a lot of bang for your buck along the way.

The hike, most of which is in the Richland Creek Wilderness, takes you by three waterfalls, follows along Falling Water Creek (one of my favorites) and ends at a great canyon with a uniquely named 16-foot waterfall that will definitely create a memorable experience.

Fuzzybutt Falls (Richland Creek Wilderness, Ozark Forest) photo
Fuzzybutt Falls and surrounding canyon

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