Hiking Northern Arkansas

Summer in Northern Arkansas

Summer in Northern Arkansas

Northern Arkansas is home to beautiful hiking trails of many distances.  You are guaranteed to be amazed by the sites when hiking the northern Arkansas trails.

Small Distance Hiking Trails

The Ozark National Forest is located in northwest Arkansas and covers over one million acres.  Within this forest are many beautiful hiking trails, including those of short distances.

  • Alum Cove Trail – 1.1 Miles – Leashed dogs are allowed on this trail.  While hiking, you will see a large and all natural rock bridge and many flowers.  Be sure to bring a sack lunch because there is a very nice picnic area located on the trail.
  • Mirror Lake Loop – 1.3 Miles – This trail is meant for hikers of all ages and levels of experience.  Be sure to wear your swimsuit underneath your hiking gear because there is a creek crossing and you might want to have some splashing fun.  Waterfalls and rock formations surround this trail.
  • Glory Hole– 1.9 Miles – Leashed dogs are allowed on this trail.  This trail contains dangerous bluffs so be sure to watch your every step.  An old road will lead to the Glory Hole which is a bluff with a large hole in the roof of it.  A creek is the creator of the hole which formed over a period of time.  During late spring and early summer the creek will be heavily pouring through this hole due to the rains.
Medium to Long Distance Hiking Trails

For a slightly more experienced and motivated hiker, the Buffalo National River has many trails sure to please.

  • Rush Mountain Trail – 3.6 Miles – Rush is an old zinc mining town that began in the 1880’s and ended in the 1930’s.  Along the trail are old buildings that the miners called home.  You will see a spectacular view of the Buffalo National River from this trail.
  • Indian Rock House – 3 Miles – This trail is filled with history of the Native Americans.  It will lead you to the Indian Rock House Cave which acted as a shelter to the Native Americans.  Wildlife and many trees surround this trail.
  • Hemmed-In Hollow – 5 Miles – Located on the trail is one of the tallest waterfalls in the area.


  1. Alum Cove Trail
  2. Mirror Lake Loop
  3. Glory Hole 
  4. Rush Mountain Trail
  5. Indian Rock House
  6. Hemmed-In Hollow
Quick Facts About Arkansas 
  • Arkansas is known as the Natural State for reasons including: low population in rural areas, trees, plants, wildlife, rivers, streams, lakes, mountains, and clean air.
  • Arkansas was home to many Native American tribes.  The lands of Arkansas used to be filled with arrow heads and other Native American artifacts but over time they have slowly disappeared.
  • The Louisiana Purchase Survey Marker is located in Arkansas.
  • Northern Arkansas experiences spring, summer, fall, and winter.  Each season presents
    weather across Arkansas and can be hazardous to hikers.
Arkansas Season Information

1. Spring:

An Arkansas spring is beautiful with close to perfect temperatures.  All of  the plants and trees are starting to bloom which makes for a perfect scenery of life. March through May are the spring months, even though every year surprises Arkansas natives.

Temperatures average between 65°F and 80°F.  Though not too common, there have been instances where there was snow on the ground and cool temperatures in early March. Spring is often filled with raining and storming days.  Thunderstorms are the most common spring storm in Arkansas.  Another common storm that hits Arkansas during spring is a tornadic storm.

Weather safety and taking warning sirens literally is very important of people living in or visiting Arkansas.  Keeping a battery operated flashlight radio in working condition is very important for hikers and campers.

      2. Summer

Summer is the favorite time of year for tourists to visit Arkansas.  The lakes and rivers offer cool relief during the high temperature months. June through August is when Arkansas experiences everything summer has to offer.  Extreme heat covers the Ozarks in summer months with temperatures being anywhere from 85°F to 100°F.  The heat index usually exceeds 100°F.  According to The Weather Channel, July and August are the hottest months of the year on average.

When hiking the Natural State during the summertime, make sure to pack extra water to stay hydrated.  Always prepare the day and night before your hiking adventure by eating well and drinking plenty of healthy fluids.

     3. Fall

Fall begins around September and lasts through October.  The fall months have warm days and cool nights.The fall months are very colorful due to the leaves changing colors.  Fall is a hiker favorite in Arkansas due to the perfect temperatures and beautiful sites.The daytime during fall days can still have very warm temperatures so always be prepared and have plenty of water.

 4. Winter

Winter in northern Arkansas has very cold temperatures and extreme weather.  Ice and snow is known to blanket the Ozarks during January and February. A thick layer of ice will coat the roads and snow will fall on top.  These conditions are very dangerous to drive in so many businesses and schools in northern Arkansas will be closed until the roads can get clear.

In January of 2009, northern Arkansas was hit with a terrible ice storm that left hundreds without power for a week and some for a month.  Trees were crashing down and falling through people’s homes.  This is an example of why to take ice and snow seriously.

If you decide to go on a winter hike, always watch your step.  The steep hills and caves located in northern Arkansas can create an optical illusion that the snow has the same depth all over when in actuality the snow can be deeper in some spots than others.

Even though hiking during the winter months will reward your senses with a winter wonderland, it is very dangerous.  Be prepared and safe by having plenty of waterproof layers on and waterproof boots.

 Further Information

The Arkansas Adventure Guide  has many more trails waiting for you to explore. Always remember to respect the waters and lands by not littering and by disposing of your waste properly.

Local area managers will have many tips, rules, and regulations for tourists about contributing the least
amount of damage to the environment.

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