A Hidden Trail in the Ozarks

Talk about “off the beaten trail”….. this trail took a great deal of patience and trust in Erik’s navigation skills as it was nearly impossible to find the trail head off a small and remote highway in the Arkansas Ozark Mountains. We used the All Trails app to find this place and noticed that is was highly rated with many comments such as “can’t miss destination” so we trusted that we were in the right place despite phone/GPS service not working too well. There was no signage with the only possible clue we were at the right place being a small orange piece of tape being tied to a tree among a forest of pines and dense vegetation. We decided to take a chance and take the truck off the small highway down a partially cleared trail that was better suited for a lifted 4×4 or jeep. The scariest part was not knowing if we were on public land or trespassing on someone’s private property who was ready to give us a stern lecture or worse. But after a few miles of a rough ride, including a few sections I thought our truck would get stuck we came to a place where there was another car and a place for us to park.


We looked relieved after finding a place to park and getting out for a hike. The last hour had been pretty stressful.


We had read this place had scenic outlooks and two waterfalls and it didn’t take long to find an amazing outlook. I have become scared of heights…. when did that happen?… and had a hard time getting close to these ledges as the drop off was often a few hundred feet down until you found your way straight down to the bottom.


I assume Erik and Meredith are doing their version of some Yoga pose and I hope they found bliss.


The Ozarks are a diverse geological zone with amazing natural beauty. This terrain is difficult to traverse with massive boulders, crevices, creeks, and vegetation of all types. In some regards it reminds me of a southern version of Portland, OR’s “Forest Park” area with it’s vegetation including moss and ferns that need constant moisture and humidity.


This trail was not well marked, and in fact we got a bit lost for a while as we headed down a trail that dead ended into the side of the mountain. We had nearly given up when we decided to try another pass and soon thereafter the sound of water gave us a clue we were on the right path.


While certainly many people had been here before us this waterfall and holding pond was pretty lightly traveled which made this moment special. We are probably 50 miles away from civilization which gave us the quiet that I so enjoy when finding these places. This allows the opportunity to hear your breath and the trickle of this small waterfall as it makes it way down into the pond below. What a cool place. The kind of place that you work hard to find and cherish when that “dead end” you thought you were traveling down turns into something special.


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