Tag - Counties: Conway + Faulkner + Perry (Ark)

Trails in Conway, Faulkner, and Perry Counties, including Petit Jean State Park.

For a list of all trail profiles in this group, visit this link.

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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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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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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Petit Jean: Cedar Creek Trail – 1 mi

Petit Jean: Cedar Creek Trail - 1 mi photo
Cascade on Cedar Creek, near the second footbridge.

About a week ago, I got to hike the Cedar Creek Trail (aka “Cedar Creek Self-Guided Trail”) at Petit Jean State Park. It had been about 4 years since I hiked this trail, and I had forgotten how pretty it is.

It is especially nice after there has been recent rain. When I hiked it last week, there had been quite a bit of recent rain in central Arkansas.

Petit Jean: Cedar Creek Trail - 1 mi photo
The second (north) footbridge on the Cedar Creek Trail.

This 1.1-mile loop trail has some climbing, but it is not very difficult. There is only about 240 feet of total elevation gain. The net elevation change is about 120 feet.

The Cedar Creek Trailhead is easy to find. It is on the park’s main road (Petit Jean Mountain Road), about a half-mile east of Mather Lodge. Just watch for the pioneer cabin at the trailhead.  Continue reading Petit Jean: Cedar Creek Trail – 1 mi