Hike & Climb

Let’s go hiking!

The Kingfisher Trail at Pinnacle Mountain State Park in Central Arkansas is a gentle, ½-mile loop that is paved. This National Recreation Trail is easy on the feet and knees. It’s accessible for those who are physically limited and for those pushing baby strollers.


Once you’re at the park in west Little Rock, follow the sidewalk from the picnic area rest rooms until you reach the trail sign. Along your trek, make sure and notice the huge, 500-to 600-year-old bald cypress trees along the banks of the Little Maumelle River. There are also opportunities to see unique plants, wildflowers in season and animals that call the area home.


You can pick up a self-guided booklet describing the bottomland forest at the trail sign or visitor center. The brochure is free to use but the park asks that it be returned to the drop box at the beginning of the trail. The Kingfisher is a favorite for many school groups. Insect repellent may be needed during the late spring and summer months. For bird watchers the route can offer many species to see during the spring migration.
A new outdoor hotspot in northwest Arkansas, Mt. Kessler Greenways in Fayetteville, is full of many trails to hike, mountain bike and run on. It includes about 1,500 acres, a thousand of which are considered an urban forest lying within the city limits. Mainly privately owned, Mt. Kessler Greenways includes about 200 acres that are now owned by the City of Fayetteville and are dedicated as a regional city park.


A new trailhead with lots of parking and connection to the hiking/biking/running trail system was recently opened on the east side. The trailhead is located off Cato Springs Road. Take exit 60 off I-49 and go south on Cato Springs Road about one-half mile and turn right on Judge Cummings Road (WC 200); the parking will be on your right. These trails are all on public land so no permission or waiver forms are required. For more information visit mtkesslergreenways.com.
David’s Trail, located near Mountain Home, honors and remembers the contributions that David Floyd made to his community. The ultimate goal is for a 50-plus mile network of multiple-purpose trails on 100 percent public lands surrounding Lake Norfork and designed to encourage an active lifestyle for all ages and abilities. The shoreline trails will have handicap-accessible paved loops, graveled woodland sections and lakeshore trails with natural surfaces.


Currently, from the Panther Day Use Park trailhead, about seven miles of trail is open going south and ending with a loop at Robinson Point Campground. Going north, crossing the lake via the Ark. 101 bridge, about 4.2 miles has been built. Volunteers are currently working on an Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department grant to extend the trail north toward the Arkansas/Missouri state line another five to six miles. That would provide a Robinson Campground to Red Bank access with a natural surface trail wide enough to hike, walk or run side-by-side while staying on public, Corp property. The Panther Bay Trailhead is located 9 miles east of Mountain Home on U.S. 62, then 1 mile north on Ark. 101. Turn right at the Panther Bay sign, then take the first left. For more information visit www.davidstrail.org.
Craighead Forest Park in Jonesboro opened to the public in 1937. The picturesque, city-owned park encompasses 692 acres and offers something for everyone, especially hikers. Over two miles of trail winds along Craighead Forest Lake, and an additional 2.9 miles of paved road, perfect for hikers and walkers, weaves throughout the park. The Craighead Forest Trail links the park to the nearby Crowley’s Ridge Nature Center, where an additional three hiking trails are available. Log on to www.jonesboro.org/197/Craighead-Forest-Park for details.
Delta Heritage Trail State Park in Helena-West Helena offers hikers more than 20 miles of completed trails throughout the Arkansas Delta. The park is a rails-to-trails conversion being developed along the former Union Pacific Railroad right-of-way and winds through some of the most scenic areas of the region. The compacted, crushed rock trail leads through a shaded canopy of native hardwoods. The area also offers great opportunities for wildlife viewing and birdwatching. Upon completion, Delta Heritage Trail State Park will stretch from Lexa in Phillips County to Rohwer in Desha County, and additionally extend via the Mississippi River levee to Arkansas City. Visitwww.arkansasstateparks.com/deltaheritagetrail for more information.
Nature lovers and photographers will enjoy the scenic beauty of the Caddo Bend Trail. This popular four-mile loop trail is on a peninsula in Lake Ouachita State Park near Hot Springs.


The trail, which has rolling terrain, begins near the park amphitheater and circles the entire peninsula back to its beginning. Expansive views of Lake Ouachita, quartz crystal outcroppings, large boulder gardens, and an observation deck overlooking the lake are some of the highlights one can see along the route.


The trail was damaged by a tornado in 2011 and was completely rebuilt the following year with the help of AmeriCorp teams. Signs along the trail explain some of this history as well as information on what can be seen on the route. The trail is open for self-guided hiking or visitors can check the park’s schedule for guided interpretive hikes. Lake Ouachita State Park is located in Mountain Pine at 5451 Mountain Pine Road. For more information, visitarkansasstateparks.com/lakeouachita/.

PLEASE NOTE: Some trails are subject to close without notice. We strongly encourage you to check with the owner of the trails you’re interested in to make sure the area is open before heading out. You’ll find contact information listed with each trail.

Getting back to nature is a popular pastime, and hiking in Arkansas is a great way to experience the beauty and majesty of the Natural State.

Outdoor enthusiasts will find Arkansas trails designed for day hiking, backpacking, horseback riding, ATVs and water trails. You can download complete maps of the Ouachita National Forest, Ozark-St. Francis National Forest and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for reference. 

Many of the state’s natural areas overseen by the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission have trails as well. You can find additional information by visiting the ANHC website.

* For information regarding pets on hiking trails, please contact the appropriate agency for the trail you are interested in. Each agency has their own regulations regarding pets. Contact information can be found with each listing.

Arkansas Hiking Safety Tips & Other Hiking Information

Twin Falls in Jasper, Arkansas
Camping and hiking in The Natural State is an unforgettable experience. To help you along your way, we are providing some general advice and Arkansas hiking safety trips. There are also guidelines so you can help us keep the back country and wilderness as unspoiled as possible and do your part to preserve Arkansas’ plant and animal heritage. You may want to print the phone numbers list from this website to carry in your backpack. Remember to always check the weather information before planning your trip. We hope you find these Arkansas hiking safety tips helpful as you explore The Natural State.

Want to embark on an outdoor adventure in The Natural State but don’t know where to start? Our free Arkansas vacation kit is full of information on the best lodging, dining and activities in Arkansas. Request one today and start planning an adventure vacation you’ll never forget.

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