Tag - Difficulty: Moderate/ Strenuous

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

Compton’s Double Falls, Amber Falls, Owl Falls (Ozark Forest)

Compton's Double Falls, Amber Falls, Owl Falls (Ozark Forest) photo
Compton’s Double Falls,, Ozark National Forest

Hawksbill Crag/Whitaker Point (Newton County, Upper Buffalo Wilderness Area, Ozark National Forest) is among the most visited and photographed spots Arkansas — and for good reason. However, deep in the valley below Whitaker Point lies a beautiful valley formed by Whitaker Creek. During wet season, there are an abundance of waterfalls that are not visited nearly as often as the popular bluff above.

This area has been on my list for a while, but awaiting the right weather conditions (times of high water and leaf-off are best) has been key.  The area proved to be worth the wait. There are no formal trails here, but when we visited on January 2, we found everything we were looking for without much problem and without a GPS. (We did have the help of a guidebook.)

I suspect reaching these areas in the late spring or summer when the undergrowth has grown up would be a challenge.

Compton's Double Falls, Amber Falls, Owl Falls (Ozark Forest) photo
Amber Falls, Ozark National Forest
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Earthquake Ridge Trail + Southern Loop (Ouachita Forest) – 3 mi

Earthquake Ridge Trail + Southern Loop (Ouachita Forest) – 3 mi photo
View to the north from the east side of the Earthquake Ridge Trail (main loop)

The Earthquake Ridge Trail is a short moderately challenging loop trail in the Ouachita National Forest, just north of Mena, Arkansas. It has one main loop and several additional loops, all at the southeast end of Rich Mountain.

On this hike, we are doing the main loop plus the Southern Loop. By my measurements, the entire walk is just under 3 miles.

The 2 loops together basically make one long loop that goes around a 1-mile stretch of the Talimena Scenic Drive.

Earthquake Ridge Trail + Southern Loop (Ouachita Forest) – 3 mi photo
Earthquake Ridge Trail, east side

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Ouachita Trail 01: Pics of FR 6010 to Deadman’s Gap TH (5.8 – 8.0)

Ouachita Trail 01: Pics of FR 6010 to Deadman's Gap TH (5.8 – 8.0) photo
I thought that rock jutting out was cool. It was foggy as I approached FR 6010.

Back on November 26, 2015, I had a cool hike doing the 2.2-mile segment on the Ouachita Trail in LeFlore County, Oklahoma, from Deadman’s Gap (mile point 8.0) to Forest Road 6010 (about mile point 5.8).

This 2.2-mile segment of Section 1 of the Ouachita Trail (Ouachita Forest, LeFlore County, Oklahoma) runs from Forest Road 6010 to Deadman’s Gap (mile point 8.0). At that point, the OT crosses the Talimena Scenic Drive (Highway 88) over to the north side of Winding Stair Mountain.

Ouachita Trail 01: Pics of FR 6010 to Deadman's Gap TH (5.8 – 8.0) photo
North-facing view from Deadman Vista, just up the road from the Deadman’s Gap trailhead

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Mount Nebo: Rim Trail – 3 mi

Mount Nebo: Rim Trail - 3 mi photo
Mount Nebo Rim Trail – Starting from behind the Visitor Center

Arkansas has earned the reputation as “The Natural State” because of the beautiful natural sites around the state. And as a part of this reputation, Arkansas has established an outstanding state park system that is diverse in the natural beauty they provide.

Mount Nebo State Park

One of the crown jewels of the state park system is Mount Nebo State Park. The park was established in 1935. Many of the trails and cabins date were built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), part of President Roosevelt’s “New Deal” during the Great Depression.

The park is located seven miles west of Dardanelle on Highway 155. You can get there by taking Highway 7 south, through Russellville and Dardanelle, making a brief right onto Highway 22, and then turning left on Highway 155. (Follow the signs to the park.)

Highway 155 up Mount Nebo is very steep and very curvy. (Don’t bring a long trailer.)

Mount Nebo: Rim Trail - 3 mi photo
Mount Nebo Rim Trail

At the top of the mountain, there are campsites, cabins that can be rented, private residences, a pool, tennis courts, playground equipment, a basketball court, and a great little visitor center with several snakes on hand, so you can learn about the native species.

You may also catch the sight of hang gliders from the visitor center as it is a frequent launch point.

The park also offers 360-degree views of the countryside which also means fantastic views of the sunrise and sunset (at sites aptly named “Sunrise Point” and “Sunset Point”).

Mount Nebo Hiking Trails

The park boasts over 14 miles of hiking trails, all of which connect in ways that can make for a wide variety of routes, distances, and difficulty levels.

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