Hiking in Arkansas is one of the best ways to experience the varied and diverse
natural beauty of the state. The hundreds of miles of the rewarding 250 Arkansas
hiking trails are roughly divided into five different geographic regions: the
Ozarks of the northwest; the Mississippi River Delta region along the state's
eastern border; the river valley that follows the course of the Arkansas River
from the western border to Little
Rock; the central region to the west of the capital; and the Timberlands
along the southern border with Louisiana
that are part of the Gulf of Mexico alluvial plain.
These Arkansas hiking regions, of course, are further divided into easy, moderate, and strenuous levels of difficulty. But don't worry about finding a level of difficulty in a particular region, as virtually all areas have Arkansas hiking that will suit all skill levels. Many trail heads and state parks even have handicap accessible sections. Additionally, quite a few Arkansas hiking trails have been developed for multiuse purposes, accommodating fishing enthusiasts, bicycles, and horseback riders.
Hikes in Arkansas provide outlets for short day trips of less than hour, extensive backpacking that could take an entire day, and overnight camping. They even allow you to explore the thirteen caves in the state.
There are a dozen wilderness areas encompassing 150,000 acres suitable for hikes in Arkansas for those willing to rough it. There are no developed campgrounds, and motorized vehicles are not allowed. These areas provide for wonderful remote open camping experiences, hunting, canoeing, and fishing in truly untouched wilderness. Map reading and orienteering skills are a necessity.
For urban hiking in Arkansas around the capital city of Little Rock, the Arkansas River Trail allows residents and visitors to get their exercise on 24 miles of trail while commuting between east, west, and north Little Rock, and all the way into the historic downtown district. Residents and vacationers alike drive the beautiful Talimena Scenic Byway for some of the most magnificent mountain scenery in the state. Some of the best Arkansas hiking can also be found here, on the 224 miles of trails from Talimena State Park in Oklahoma to Pinnacle Mountain just outside Little Rock. Elevations range from 600 to more than 2,600 feet.
Another of the most popular Arkansas hiking trails is the Cedar Falls Trail that takes you to one of the state's tallest and most beautiful waterfalls in the oldest of all the state parks, Petit Jean. Here also is a wonderful old lodge with lovely rustic cabins for rent. Way down south near Texarkana on the Texas and Oklahoma border is Millwood State Park. Here are hikes in Arkansas with the possibility of seeing lots of wildlife including beavers at an active beaver lodge and an alligator hole. The Waterfowl Way trail is an easy hike that is especially rewarding in the spring and autumn when thousands of migratory birds show up.
Devil's Den State Park in the far northwest is one of the most popular spots
for hiking in Arkansas with caves, waterfalls, and pristine forests. Horses
and mountain bikers are both welcome here. There is great canoeing and fishing
possible, as well as many fascinating sandstone caves. More canoeing, fishing,
and Arkansas hiking are available in the unique ecosystem of the Mississippi
River Delta at Cane Creek State Park in the southeast of the state. Lakes
are everywhere in the state, and just about all of them have developed hiking