Nature January 16, 2018
We Just Planned Your 2018 Year Of Arkansas Hikes And You’ll Love Them All
2018 is in full swing and that may mean you’re working on different resolutions. If one of those resolutions was to lose weight, be more active, enjoy the outdoors more or even spend more time with family, then hopefully this list will be helpful. We’ve planned a year of hikes, with one per month, to help keep you motivated and inspired. Each trail corresponds to the month’s typical weather to ensure you get the most out of each hike.
During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.
1. January - Delta View Trail - Star City
Cane Creek State Park is one of the more underrated parks but lucky for us that means fewer crowds at this hidden gem. The Delta View Trail is perfect for January since it's a hot spot for bald eagle sightings. The peaceful and moderately easy 2.5-mile loop is an excellent start to your year of hikes.
2. February - Mirror Lake Trail - Fifty-Six
So we'll still have a chill in the air but it's no better time to visit Blanchard Springs Caverns and Mirror Lake. The cave always stays a consistent 58° and has its own trail system, the Dripstone Trail being an easy 4/10 mile. Right outside of the cave is the Mirror Lake Trail which leads to this gorgeous, picturesque scene. We wouldn't be surprised if you glimpsed a winter woodland nymph on your hike.
3. March - Forest Trail - Huntsville
The family-friendly Forest Trail resides in Withrow Springs State Park. This is a great trail to admire the budding wildflowers as winter fades into spring. The 2.2-mile trail is also known for high chances of spotting wildlife.
4. April - Pack Rat Falls - Hagarville
We've more than likely hit the rainy season, which is no excuse to stay indoors. The waterfalls are running full force and are ready to be explored. A great trail, (well, three mini trails,) to catch some of the best falls in the state is around Haw Creek Falls Recreation Area. Tackle the Haw Creek Falls Trail, Pack Rat Falls Trail and end with Pam Grotto's Waterfall Trail.
For a photo tour of all three falls, read the full article right
5. May - Lost Valley Trail - Ponca
Hopefully at this point we've warmed up to hiking and leaving the couch for hours at a time. The mild weather has given us new motivation to tackle a popular hike, the Lost Valley Trail. This moderate 2.2-mile hike is quite scenic, from waterfalls to caverns.
6. June - Hemmed-in Hollow Trail - Compton
We've peaked to our most difficult hike of the year, the Hemmed-in Hollow Trail. The 6-mile trail has a rather steep 2.5-mile climb out but the exertion is absolutely worth it to see the 209-ft. falls, the tallest waterfall between the Rockies and the Appalachians. For a more family-friendly version, the falls can also be reached by floating the Buffalo River. This shortens the trail to just 1/2 mile of moderate hiking.
7. July - Kings River Falls Trail - Witter
If the temperature didn't start to rise in June, you can bet it's arrived by July. It may be sweltering but get out of the A/C and take the Kings River Falls Trail for a cooling plunge. The easy 1.2-mile trail will lead you to one of the best swimming holes in the state. Chill under the 10-ft. falls to congratulate yourself for sticking to your resolution.
8. August - Cedar Creek Trail - Morrilton
For another chance to cool off in the ridiculous Arkansas summer heat, take the moderate 1.2-mile Cedar Creek Trail. Besides being able to stay out of the sun for most of the hike, you'll also have the chance to swim at the foot of the 95-ft. Cedar Creek Falls.
9. September - Two Rivers Park Trail - Little Rock
Get your steps in without too many elevation changes at the Two Rivers Park. The 6.3-mile trail is perfect for all skill levels. Avoid crowds and have the chance to watch the deer if you take the trail in the morning.
10. October - Yellow Rock Trail - West Fork
Yellow Rock Trail has no shortage of panoramic beauty along the 2.7-mile loop. No matter if the leaves have started changing or not, the trail has fantastic rock formations and overlooks. Challenge yourself to take the trail as a sunrise hike to avoid crowds and to start your day off active.
11. November - North Rim Trail - Paris
Everyone needs to hike Mount Magazine at least once a year. It's an iconic Arkansas gem that never ceases to be awe-inspiring. The North Rim Trail is a moderate 4.2-mile hike with fantastic bluff overlooks. Hike the trail near sunset to see the valley fired up with fall foliage.
12. December - Whitaker Point Trail - Deer
You've made it to December! If you've stuck to your resolution then we'll end the year with a bang atop Hawksbill Crag. The 2.9-mile trail is fantastic year-round but in the middle of winter, when the trees are no longer a sea of green, the valley seems to be endless.
If you made it to the peak of Hawksbill Crag then shout and rejoice! It’s no easy feat to stick to a resolution for an entire year.
For some more 2018 must-do’s, try
eating at all of these places or attending these festivals.