Tag - Length: 6-8 Miles

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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Ouachita Trail 01: Potato Hill Vista Spur to FR 6010 Pics (2.4 to 5.8)

Ouachita Trail 01: Potato Hill Vista Spur to FR 6010 Pics (2.4 to 5.8) photo
Evening view from the Potato Hill Vista. It’s .1 miles from the Ouachita Trail.

The 3.5 mile stretch of the Ouachita Trail from the Potato Hill Vista spur to Forest Road 6010 is a pretty cool one. There are a number of nice vistas and several areas with interesting rocks. This segment has a moderate amount of climbing.

The trail profile I did from my October 3, 2015 hike is here.

In this post, I have some additional photos I took that day on the trail and at the nearby Potato Hill Vista (accessible via the .1-mile spur from the OT).

Ouachita Trail 01: Potato Hill Vista Spur to FR 6010 Pics (2.4 to 5.8) photo
This is the spur that connects the Potato Hill Vista (where there is parking) over to the Ouachita Trail

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Ouachita Trail 01: Pics of Talimena S.P. to Potato Hill Vista (0.0 to 2.4)

Ouachita Trail 01: Pics of Talimena S.P. to Potato Hill Vista (0.0 to 2.4) photo
Rock garden on Winding Stair Mountain, Ouachita Trail

The starting 2.4-mile Ouachita Trail segment from Talimena State Park to the Potato Hill Vista (mile point 0.0 to 2.4) has some nice scenic areas and quite a bit of climbing. The net elevation change is about 850 feet.

I like rocky areas and hills. As with much of Winding Stair Mountain, quite a bit of the trail is rocky, something that I think makes the trail more interesting.

Ouachita Trail 01: Pics of Talimena S.P. to Potato Hill Vista (0.0 to 2.4) photo
West-facing view, climbing up Winding Stair Mountain

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Ouachita Trail 01: Horsethief Springs to Winding Stair TH. (19.9 – 23.7)

Ouachita Trail 01: Horsethief Springs to Winding Stair TH. (19.9 - 23.7) photo
Stone spring enclosure at the Horsethief Springs picnic area

This is a 3.4-mile segment of the Ouachita Trail from the Horsethief Springs junction to the Winding Stair Trailhead. It’s a scenic walk along the north side of Winding Stair Mountain that, for the most part, is not very difficult.

The Tim Ernst mileage for this segment is mile point 19.9 to 23.7. By my gps calculation though, it’s closer to 3.4 miles in length rather than 3.8.

Ouachita Trail 01: Horsethief Springs to Winding Stair TH. (19.9 - 23.7) photo
Ouachita Trail, east of Horsethief Springs

When I hiked this segment recently, I started at Horsethief Springs and headed east to the Winding Stair trailhead and then back for a 6.8-mile hike.

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