Category - Central Arkansas

Posts in Central Arkansas including including Pinnacle Mountain, Petit Jean, Lake Catherine, and Lake Ouachita state parks. Also see Central Arkansas Trails Page.

Hunt’s Loop Trail (Ouachita Forest) – 4 mi

Hunt’s Loop Trail (Ouachita Forest) - 4 mi photo
The view from the Short Mountain vista.

One of my favorite day hikes around Hot Springs is the Hunt’s Loop Trail in the Ouachita National Forest (north Garland County/south Perry County).

The 4.3-mile-hike takes you straight up Short Mountain to a gorgeous vista and then through some of the most beautiful woods along the ridge of the mountain before returning to the narrow valley of the Middle Fork of the Saline River.

It is a moderate trail overall. The only difficult part is at the beginning (going clockwise) up Short Mountain. The elevation change is about 500 feet.

Hunt’s Loop Trail (Ouachita Forest) - 4 mi photo
Heading north on Hunt’s Loop Trail on top of Short Mountain, Ouachita National Forest
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Hot Springs: Grand Promenade – 1 mi (o&b)

Hot Springs: Grand Promenade - 1 mi (o&b) photo
Grand Promenade, Hot Springs National Park

The Grand Promenade is an awesome half-mile brick walking path in Hot Springs National Park. Running north-south, it is parallel to (and behind) the historic Bathhouse Row.

Hot Springs: Grand Promenade - 1 mi (o&b) photo
Fountain on the Grand Promenade, near the north (Fountain Street) end

Construction of the Promenade began in the 1930’s as a Public Works Administration project. It was completed in 1957. Continue reading Hot Springs: Grand Promenade – 1 mi (o&b)

Pinnacle Mountain: Rocky Valley/East Quarry Trails – 3 mi

Pinnacle Mountain: Rocky Valley/East Quarry Trails – 3 mi photo
Panoramic west-facing view from the H.L. Dickinson Overlook on the East Quarry Trail at Pinnacle Mountain State Park. Pinnacle Mountain is in the center. The swollen Maumelle and Arkansas Rivers are to the right.

This short but vigorous 2.6-mile hike combines two trails at Pinnacle Mountain State Park (Pulaski County, near Little Rock): the Rocky Valley and East Quarry Trails.

This is a scenic and hilly walk with a couple of great vistas on the east end.

Getting to the Rocky Valley Trail

The first part of the hike is the Rocky Valley Trail (green blazes), a semi-loop trail that starts next to the visitor center. The East Quarry Trail (red blazes) is a spur at the east end of the loop.

Pinnacle Mountain: Rocky Valley/East Quarry Trails – 3 mi photo
One of the cool rock formations on the Rocky Valley trail.

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Petit Jean: Cedar Falls Trail – 2 mi (o&b)

Petit Jean: Cedar Falls Trail – 2 mi (o&b) photo
Cedar Falls (panoramic), Petit Jean State Park

Cedar Falls at Petit Jean State Park is the most impressive Arkansas waterfall I have seen. When Cedar Creek is flowing well, this is 95-foot waterfall is an amazing sight.

After a visit to Cedar Falls, it is easy to see why Petit Jean was chosen to be Arkansas’s first state park.

The trail to it is not long, only .9 miles each way (1.8 mile total hike). And the trail is not particularly difficult except for a steep climb back up to the trailhead.

Petit Jean: Cedar Falls Trail – 2 mi (o&b) photo
Cedar Falls Trail and Cedar Creek

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