Alright, folks. It’s time to dust off that file where you’ve kept all the printed-out copies of Only in Arkansas’s fantastic ideas for your long form bucket list, flip to the pages that contain your
Natural State natural wonders portion of that bucket list, and staple on this addendum. These 11 easy hikes need to be added to your list right away. And hey, maybe doing these will get you in great shape for your more challenging selections of that previous list of natural places in Arkansas that you have to try before you die. From lake trails to cave trails to one glorious swamp, pretty much anyone can do these easy hikes.
1. Walcott Lake Trail (Crowley’s Ridge State Park)
Walcott Lake is a 31-acre fishing lake located in Crowley’s Ridge State Park in Paragould. Walcott Lake Trail is a five mile long easy hike that takes you atop the lake’s levee, offering awesome opportunities to spot birds and the absolute best vantage point to spot the park’s bat condo. This trail is a birder’s paradise.
2. Lake Trail (Devil’s Den State Park)
This half mile trail will only take you about a half hour. It takes you around Lee Creek, leading to the CCC-built dam that created Lake Devil. Along the trail itself you’ll find remnants of the original CCC stone path.
3. Warren Hollow Trail (Lake Fort Smith State Park)
Taken near Mountainburg, AR.
Warren Hollow Trail is located in Lake Fort Smith State Park, a state park situated around a reservoir located in the stunning Boston Mountains portion of the Ozarks. This gorgeous wooded trail is only one mile round trip, and it takes you past incredible views of the lake.
4. Dogwood Trail (Lake Ouachita)
This casual walk through the Ouachita National Forest is only a half mile long and gives hikers the opportunity to see unique forest wildlife. Along the trail you’ll find interpretive signs that help you keep your eyes peeled for woodland creatures.
5. Louisiana Purchase Boardwalk (Louisiana Purchase State Park)
You may want to wait until after the first frost to see this one, as it’s located in a swamp and swamps are basically large mosquito nurseries. The 950 foot boardwalk allows you a unique opportunity to explore the haunting beauty of the swamp, and the pay off at the end of this peaceful stroll is the stone that marks the place of departure for the original Louisiana Purchase Survey Expedition.
6. Will Apple’s Road Trail (Mount Magazine State Park)
This trail is named after a farmer, and it was the first trail to crest Mount Magazine in the 1800s. This easy path is just 1.6 miles long and starts near Mount Magazine’s gorgeous visitor center. Will Apple’s Road Trail offers incredible views, solitude, and a peak into the history of the mountain that contains the highest point in Arkansas.
7. Rock House Cave Trail (Petit Jean State Park)
Rock House Cave isn’t actually a cave. It’s a natural rock shelter. You won’t find cooler 500-year-old Native American rock art anywhere in the Natural State. The trail itself is a quarter of a mile long, easy, and takes you past gorgeous wildflowers the incredible natural structures called Turtle Rocks.
8. Base Trail (Pinnacle Mountain State Park)
Base Trail is actually rated from easy to moderate, but it’s well worth that moderate exertion. This trail is only 1.25 miles long and it takes you from the edge of the Little Maumelle River to the boulders at the eastern base of Pinnacle Mountain.
9. Village Trail (Parkin Archeological State Park)
Village Trail is three quarters of a mile long, and it's a fantastic place to use your imagination. As you walk past the mound where the chief once lived, let your mind wander back 500 years to when the area around Village Trail was the bustling center of a thriving community.
10. Benefield Loop Trail (Mount Magazine State Park)
If you’re into wildflowers, history, and breathtaking scenic vistas, this two mile trail is the one you want. It’s easy, and it takes you through a portion of the 160 acres once homesteaded by Benjamin Benefield in the 1880s. The original path takes was built by the Works Progress Administration in 1938. And those views? Well, they're incredible.
11. Spring Lake Trail (Mammoth Spring State Park)
Mammoth Spring is the largest spring in Arkansas and a National Natural Landmark. Spring Lake Trail is only six-tenths of a mile, and it’s a fantastic way to see the spring, the old hydroelectric dam, the train depot museum, and, of course, gorgeous Spring Lake.