Tag - Difficulty: Moderate/ Strenuous

More challenging hikes. We rate the difficulty level on these as Moderate (3 of 5) or Strenuous (4 of 5).

Mount Magazine: North Rim Trail – 5 mi

Mount Magazine: North Rim Trail - 5 mi photo
North Rim Trail at Mount Magazine. View of the Cameron Bluff part of the mountain from the vista at around 1.2 from visitor center. (Panoramic.) 

The North Rim Trail at Mount Magazine is one of the 3 trails with the park’s best views. (The other two are Bear Hollow Trail and Benefield East Loop Trail.)

The trail runs along the north rim from the visitor center on the east end over to the campground at Cameron Bluff on the west end.

It’s 5 miles as an out-and-back hike (2.5 miles each way). It has some great views and is not too difficult.

Mount Magazine: North Rim Trail - 5 mi photo
East-facing view of Mount Magazine from Dill Point on North Rim Trail. (Panoramic.) 

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Big Creek Cave Falls (Ozark Forest)

Big Creek Cave Falls (Ozark Forest) photo
Big Creek Cave Falls, Ozark National Forest

The hike to Big Creek Cave Falls (Newton County, Ozark National Forest) and along Big Creek is one of the best surprise hikes in the Ozarks. This is a spectacular area and is now one of our favorite places in northwest Arkansas.

It’s surprising that in 12 years of coming to the area I’d never heard anyone even mention this great hike and unique waterfall. I had just pulled it out of Tim Ernst’s Arkansas Waterfalls book and thought, “That looks cool. We should check it out.” And it is definitely worth checking out.

The setting is beautiful. There are multiple waterfalls in the area; two of which pour right out of a cave. And the creek itself has a lot of spectacular water features, and the grand finale does not disappoint.

There is no official trail. However, half of the trail is very easy to navigate; the other half requires some imagination and bushwhacking.

The best time to check out the trail is probably in early spring when the water is up, but before the growth in the woods becomes too challenging to navigate.

Big Creek Cave Falls (Ozark Forest) photo
Unnamed waterfall along Big Creek, Ozark National Forest

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Robbers Cave: Rough Canyon Trail – 3 mi

Robbers Cave: Rough Canyon Trail - 3 mi photo
Lost Lake where the Rough Canyon Trail runs next to it, Robbers Cave State Park (panoramic shot).

The Rough Canyon Trail is one of the most popular trails at Robbers Cave State Park (near Wilburton, Latimer County, Oklahoma). It’s a scenic 2.9-mile loop that starts about 100 feet from the Robbers Cave Nature Trail (the cave area).

Among the trail’s highlights are the Rough Canyon (a creek valley) and Lost Lake areas.

This is moderately challenging trail with about 500 feet of cumulative elevation gain. The elevation change is only about 250 feet though.

Quite a bit of the trail is rocky. While lots of rocks can make walking a bit tougher, they also add beauty and character.

Robbers Cave: Rough Canyon Trail - 3 mi photo
The Rough Canyon stream near the Rough Canyon Trail

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Lake Leatherwood: Beacham Trail – 3 mi

Lake Leatherwood: Beacham Trail - 3 mi photo
Lake Leatherwood Dam. The Beacham Trail crosses the dam.

I love Lake Leatherwood (Eureka Springs, Carroll County). It’s a 1,600-acre municipal park that’s mostly wilderness. It has lots of great hiking and biking trails. It’s owned and run by the City of Eureka Springs.

The Beacham Trail makes a 3.2-mile loop around the lake. It has some mild climbing, but it’s not a difficult hike.

The trail has some very nice views of the lake, particularly on the north side where the trail crosses the top of the dam.

Lake Leatherwood: Beacham Trail - 3 mi photo
Beacham Trail, Lake Leatherwood Park

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