Tagged: Difficulty: Moderate/Strenuous

Caney Creek Trail Cascade Video (Ouachita Forest)

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"Caney Creek Trail Cascade Video (Ouachita Forest)" photo
Cascade on the west part of the Caney Creek Trail, Ouachita National Forest

Back in April, I got to hike the west part of the Caney Creek Trail in the Ouachita National Forest’s Caney Creek Wilderness (Polk County, Arkansas). I hiked it from the west trailhead near the Cossatot River over to the trail’s juncture with the Buckeye Trail, a distance of 5.7 miles, and then back for a total hike of 11.4 miles.

This trail has lots of wet crossings, especially during wetter times like during my April hike. The trail crosses the Cossatot River and then crosses Caney Creek 10 times before reaching the Buckeye Trail juncture. So I had 22 wet crossings on my hike. (By the way, I need to get some decent water shoes.)

It was a very scenic hike. I thought the areas along Caney Creek and the Cossatot River crossing were wonderful. (I hope to get a full trail summary posted soon.)

Alternate video link.

My favorite spot was this cascade or mini-waterfall on Caney Creek. The trail doesn’t cross exactly at this spot, but it is in full view from the trail.

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

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"Cove Lake/Lookout Window Loop (Ozark Forest)   4 mi" photo
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/Lookout Window Loop (Ozark Forest)   4 mi" photo
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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Sams Throne Fall 2013 Photos (Ozark Forest)

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"Sams Throne Fall 2013 Photos (Ozark Forest)" photo
Sams Throne Trail, Ozark National Forest

There is no shortage of great places to see fall color in the Ozarks, but one of my personal favorite areas is at Sams Throne.

The official Sams Throne Trail is a 2.5 mile loop hike in the Ozark National Forest.  The trail takes you down below the bluff line, along the bluff, around the “throne” and back up the other side of the bluff, and then back along the top of the bluff.

Last November we decided to forgo the long trail, and just hike back and forth along the bluff line — about .5 miles round trip — just to take in some great fall color.

These are a few pics I took at Sams Throne.

"Sams Throne Fall 2013 Photos (Ozark Forest)" photo
The bluff line on the Sams Throne Trail

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Hobbs: Pigeon Roost Trail – 9 mi

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"Hobbs: Pigeon Roost Trail   9 mi" photo
Panoramic view from Beaver Lake Overlook on Pigeon Roost Trail, Hobbs State Park-Conservation Area

Hobbs State Park-Conservation Area, covering 12,000 acres and the largest state park in the state, is a wonderful natural resource. One of the most popular trails at the park is the Pigeon Roost Trail.

The trail is named for the extinct passenger pigeon which used to roost in this area in massive numbers.

The trail consists of an initial .7-mile spur and two large loops which have a .6-mile overlap. You will first come to the Dry Creek Loop, the eastern loop. The Huckleberry Loop is on the west side.

"Hobbs: Pigeon Roost Trail   9 mi" photo
Pigeon Roost Trail, Hobbs State Park-Conservation Area

If you want to hike the whole thing (as a figure-8), the length is  9.4 miles. If you do just the outer loop, skipping the overlap, that is 8.2 miles. If you want to hike just the Dry Creek Loop, that is a 4.1-mile hike.

The Pigeon Roost Trail is easy to find. It has its own parking area right off of Highway 12.

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