Tag - Ozark National Forest

Trails in the Ozark National Forest, Arkansas — including White Rock Mountain, Sams Throne, Pedestal Rocks, Kings Bluff Trail, Redding Spy Rock Loop Trail.

Hawksbill Crag (Whitaker Point) Trail (Ozark Forest) – 3 mi (o&b)

Hawksbill Crag (Whitaker Point) Trail (Ozark Forest) – 3 mi (o&b) photo
Hawksbill Crag (Whitaker Point), Ozark National Forest

If you’ve spent much time in the Buffalo River area, you’ve seen pictures of Hawksbill Crag (aka Whitaker Point). It is one of the most photographed spots in the area, and with good reason.

The hike to Hawksbill Crag is a short one, and it is relatively easy. Getting to the trailhead is a bit trickier.

Hawksbill Crag (Whitaker Point) Trail (Ozark Forest) – 3 mi (o&b) photo
View of Whitaker Creek Valley from Hawksbill Crag Trail
Directions to Hawksbill Crag (Whitaker Point) Trail

The trail is in the part of the Upper Buffalo Wilderness Area (Newton County) that is in the Ozark National Forest.

To get to the trailhead from Ponca, take Highway 43 south from Ponca toward Boxley. When it merges with Highway 21, take the southern route and continue on to Boxley. Right before you cross the Buffalo River, there is a gravel road on the right called Cave Mountain Road. (It may not be marked.)

Turn right onto Cave Mountain Road. You’ll know you’re at the right place when the gravel road heads up, seemingly straight up. This is a rough, rocky, steep road. I will note that we’ve made the trip many times in our 2-wheel drive car without problems, but never when the road was wet and potentially slippery. Continue reading Hawksbill Crag (Whitaker Point) Trail (Ozark Forest) – 3 mi (o&b)

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

Highway 123 Falls (Ozark Forest)

Highway 123 Falls (Ozark Forest) photo
Highway 123 Falls, Ozark National Forest

We were fortunate to spend Thanksgiving weekend at the cabin.  It was an amazingly rainy weekend, and we got to spend a lot of time with rest and relaxation.

However, by Sunday I was starting to get cabin fever, and with all the rain, I knew the water would be flowing. We didn’t want to venture too far out in the wilderness as the rain had gone from light to very heavy, and as much as I love the outdoors, in a cold, wet rain can be a tough way to go about enjoying them.

After a couple of failed attempts to see other waterfalls (due to many water crossings being flooded), we headed down to check out Highway 123 Falls, a 47-foot Ozark National Forest waterfall in northeast Johnson County. Continue reading Highway 123 Falls (Ozark Forest)

Natural Dam Falls Winter Pics (Ozark Forest)

Natural Dam Falls Winter Pics (Ozark Forest) photo
Snowy Natural Dam Falls from the west side, Ozark National Forest

We typically do not get a lot of ice and snow in the winter here in west Arkansas. When we do get snow, I love the chance to take some winter shots at natural sites.

Natural Dam Falls is a cool waterfall in northern Crawford County in the Ozark National Forest. It is a 187-foot-wide natural wall of rock that spans the width of Mountain Fork Creek.

As I note here, the falls is easy to get to.

Natural Dam Falls Winter Pics (Ozark Forest) photo
Natural Dam Falls from the east side

Continue reading Natural Dam Falls Winter Pics (Ozark Forest)