Tag - Difficulty: Easy/Mildly Challenging

Cedar Lake Trail (Ouachita Forest) – 3 mi

Cedar Lake Trail, Ouachita National Forest
Cedar Lake Trail, along the north shore, Ouachita National Forest

The Cedar Lake Trail at the Cedar Lake Recreation Area in the Ouachita National Forest (LeFlore County, Oklahoma) is a pretty easy 2.8-mile loop with lots of great views of the lake.

Aside from a few small hilly areas, the trail is generally level. The net elevation change is only about 80 feet.

Cedar Lake Trail, Ouachita National Forest
View of Cedar Lake from the north side of the Cedar Lake Trail. Winding Stair Mountain in the distance.
Getting to Cedar Lake Recreation Area

To get there from Poteau, just take Highway 59 south toward Heavener. About 10 miles past Heavener, turn right onto Holson Valley Road. Watch for the Cedar Lake Recreation Area sign. Then just follow the signs to the campground.

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White Rock Mountain Rim Trail (Ozark Forest) – 2 mi

White Rock Mountain Rim Trail, Ozark National Forest
Panoramic view of Sunset Shelter from the Rim Trail

The Rim Trail on White Rock Mountain in the Ozark National Forest about 20 miles north of Mulberry is an awesome trail, and it is not difficult. It is a 1.9-mile loop with less than 100 feet net elevation change.

The Rim Trail is over 2200 feet above sea level, and almost the entire trail has amazing vista views of the surrounding Ozark mountains.

White Rock Mountain Rim Trail, Ozark National Forest
Bluffs just north of Sunset Shelter. The Rim Trail is on the right.
Getting to White Rock Mountain

To get to White Rock Mountain from the south, take Exit 24 from I-40. If you are coming from the Fayetteville-Rogers area, I suggest taking I-49 south and then take I-40 east to Exit 24.

At Exit 24, get on Arkansas Highway 215 heading north.
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Mount Magazine: Benefield East Loop Trail – 1 mi

Southwest-facing view of Petit Jean River valley from the south part of the Benefield East 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).

Southeast-facing bluff view from Benefield East Loop Trail
Southeast-facing bluff view from Benefield East Loop Trail

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Queen Wilhelmina: Reservoir Trail – 1 mi

Wooden walkway south of lodge leading to trailhead for Reservoir Trail and Lovers Leap Trail (panoramic)
Wooden walkway south of lodge leading to trailhead for Reservoir Trail and Lovers Leap Trail (panoramic)

The Reservoir Trail at Queen Wilhelmina State Park is a short but vigorous hillside walk. It makes a .4-mile (each way) downhill zigzag on the south side of Rich Mountain leading to a historic reservoir.

The trail starts at the wooden walkway at the south end of Queen Wilhelmina Lodge. This spot is also the south trailhead for the Lovers Leap Trail.

From here, the trail heads to the right (west). Pretty quickly, the trail begins its downhill descent.

By its end, the trail descends 200 feet in elevation.

Stone steps on the Reservoir Trail, Queen Wilhelmina State Park
Stone steps on the Reservoir Trail, Queen Wilhelmina State Park

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