Tagged: Difficulty: Moderate/Strenuous

Caney Creek Trail – West (Ouachita Forest) – 11 mi

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"Caney Creek Trail   West (Ouachita Forest)   11 mi" photo
Cascade (Mini-waterfall) on the Caney Creek Trail, Ouachita National Forest

The western part of the Caney Creek Trail is a wonderfully scenic hike through the Ouachita National Forests’s Caney Creek Wilderness. It is a hike of 11.4 miles (5.7 miles each way) and has 22 wet crossings (11 each way), but it is well worth the effort.

The Caney Creek Trail runs 9 miles from west to east, mostly following Caney Creek. You can use of the eastern part of the trail to make a 9.4-mile loop hike with the Buckeye Trail. (See this post.)

This hike is an out-and-back one that just covers the western 5.7 miles of the Caney Creek Trail. It goes from the west trailhead to the Buckeye Trail junction.

"Caney Creek Trail   West (Ouachita Forest)   11 mi" photo
Cossatot River crossing on the Caney Creek Trail
Directions to Caney Creek Trail West Trailhead

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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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