Location: On Scenic Ark. 309, 17 miles south of Paris
Description: Consists of two loops using the Benefield Picnic Area as a center point. History, wildflowers, additional Arkansas plant life, and scenic beauty are prominent features along these easily walked loops.
In the 1880s Benjamin Benefield homesteaded 160 acres here. Approximately 40 acres were cultivated with onions, turnips, potatoes, an apple orchard and vineyard. One of their seven children is buried along the entrance road.
The East Loop follows a path originally constructed by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in 1938. It leads to wonderful views of Bear Hollow, along stone fences, and across the highway near the Petit Jean River Overlook. From there the trail follows the bluff line below the highway to stone steps that lead up to the southern side of this picnic area. This loop is 1.1 miles long.
The Benefield West Loop Trail leads across the highway to a wildlife pond. At that point it connects to the Mossback Ridge Trail, blazed in yellow. The Benefield West Loop Trail returns to this point via the picnic area entrance road, passing the grave. Watch for signs of white-tailed deer, black bear and other native Arkansas animals. It is .9 miles long. (Blue Blazes)
For Information: Don Simons, CHI, 16878 Highway 309 South, Paris, AR, 72855, 479-963-8502