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.
The current Lake Fort Smith State Park is fairly new. The original park closed in 2002 due to the enlargement of the reservoir lake. The current park opened in 2008 with all-new campsites, visitor center, cabins, and swimming pool.
Until recently, the only trails at the park were the Warren Hollow Trail and the beginning of the Ozark Highlands Trail. But in the past few years, two new trails have opened: the Boston Mountain Trail (4-mile semi-loop) and the Shepard Springs Trail.
Recently, the Boston Mountain Trail has been expanded with an additional loop. The original loop A is around 4 miles. Loop B is about 2.5 miles. It is open to mountain bikes and hikers.