Category: West Arkansas

Posts in West Arkansas including including the White Rock Mountain (Ozark National Forest) and Mount Magazine, Mount Nebo, and Lake Fort Smith state parks. Also see West Arkansas Trails Page.

Mount Magazine: Benefield East Loop Trail – 1 mi

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East Benefield Loop Trail, Mount Magazine State Park
Southwest-facing view of Petit Jean River valley from the south part of the Benefield East Loop Trail, Mount Magazine State Park

The Benefield East Loop Trail at Mount Magazine State Park is one of my favorite short trails. This one-mile loop has some of the best views in the park.

Mount Magazine State Park sits on the highest mountain in Arkansas. It is near Paris in Logan County and is surrounded by the Magazine District of the Ozark National Forest (the only part of the Ozark Forest south of the Arkansas River).

East Benefield Loop Trail, Mount Magazine State Park
Southeast-facing bluff view from Benefield East Loop Trail

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Pedestal Rocks Trail Photos Fall 2014

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Pedestal Rocks Trail, Ozark National Forest
Awesome rock formation on Pedestal Rocks Trail. This view is from the base of the rock.

I love walking the Pedestal Rocks Trail in the Ozark National Forest. It has some of the most amazing natural features in Arkansas.

Pedestal Rocks Trail and the Kings Bluff Trail are in the Pedestal Rocks Scenic Area at the north end of Pope County (close to Newton County) on Highway 16 near the community of Pelsor.

Pedestal Rocks Trail is a 2.3-mile semi-loop hike that has some climbing, but it is not all that challenging. (See the full trail summary here.)

Pedestal Rocks Trail, Ozark National Forest
Panoramic shot of pedestal rocks and bluff on Pedestal Rocks Trail, Ozark National Forest

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Mount Nebo: Bench Road Trail – 4 mi

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Bench Trail, Mount Nebo State Park
Bench Road Trail at the southeast part of the mountain, Mount Nebo State Park

While not as awesome as the Rim Trail, the Bench Road Trail at Mount Nebo State Park is a pleasant wooded stroll with a number of cool sites.

The trail sits on the natural bench that circles the mountain a few hundred feet below the rim level.

It was built in the 1800’s as a road for residents and visitors to the mountain. It was Bench Boulevard in the 1890’s.

Except for its length, the Bench Road Trail is a pretty easy walk. Including the last quarter-mile walk on the highway, the hike is 3.7 miles.

Bench Trail, Mount Nebo State Park
East-facing view from Bench Overlook (panoramic)

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Cove Lake/Lookout Window Loop (Ozark Forest) – 4 mi

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Cove Lake Trail, Ozark National Forest
Cove Lake north shore line, Cove Lake Trail, Ozark National Forest

Cove Lake is a scenic recreation area in the Magazine District of the Ozark National Forest, near Paris. It has camping, boating, swimming, fishing, and two hiking trails: Cove Lake Trail and Lookout Window Trail. This hike involves both trails.

The first part of the hike is on the Cove Lake Trail. I started at the main trailhead at the northwest corner of the lake. The trailhead parking is right off of Highway 309 on the north side of dam.

Cove Lake Trail, Ozark National Forest
South-facing vista view from Lookout Window Trail. Flattop Mountain and Mount Magazine are in the distance. Cove Lake is below.

The Cove Lake Trail is a roughly 3-mile trail (the trail part, anyway) that makes nearly a complete loop around the lake. This hike takes a detour from most of the north side of the trail for the Lookout Window Trail.

The trail part of this hike is 3.7 miles. After that there is about .7 miles of road walking to complete the loop for a total of 4.4 miles.

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