10 Best Arkansas Hiking Trails (With Waterfalls & Dog Friendly)

If you are looking for a great hiking trail to explore, look no further than Arkansas! The Natural State is home to some of the most beautiful and diverse hiking trails in the country. From dense forests to rushing rivers, Arkansas has something for everyone.

If you are looking for a challenging hike with stunning views, you’ll want to try Hemmed in Hollow Trail. But, if you’re feeling even more adventurous, Eagle Rock Loop is over 26 miles long!

Do you need an easy trail that is perfect for a family outing? Kings River Falls will take you to a 10-foot-tall waterfall. Tanyard Loop is another great option for those looking to catch a glimpse of wildlife!

Whatever you’re looking for, Arkansas has the perfect hiking trail for you. The state is home to a variety of different landscapes, so there is something to suit everyone’s tastes.

In this blog post, we will discuss 10 of our favorite hiking trails in the state. Pack your bags and get ready to hit the trail!

1. Tanyard Loop

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There is no better way to take in the natural beauty of Arkansas than by spending some time on the Tanyard Trail. This 2.2-mile loop is popular with hikers, birders, and trail runners, and it is easy to see why. The trail takes you through a variety of landscapes, from forests to open meadows, and offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside.

Dogs are welcome on the trail, and in some areas, they can even be off-leash. Just be sure to clean up after your pet and follow all other trail regulations.

The best times to visit the Tanyard Trail are April through November. No matter when you go, though, you are sure to have a memorable experience.

Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 2.2 Miles
Total Elevation Gain: 164 Feet

2. Kings River Falls Trail

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Whether you are looking for an easy, scenic hike or a place to take your dog for a walk, the Kings River Falls Trail is a great option. This 1.8-mile out-and-back trail near Witter, Arkansas, is perfect for all skill levels and can be completed in an average of 40 minutes.

The trail is open year-round, so you can enjoy the beautiful scenery no matter what time of year it is. Dogs are welcome on the path but must be kept on a leash at all times.

The Kings River Falls Trail takes you along the banks of the Kings River and ends at the falls. The best time to visit the trail is from mid-autumn to mid-spring for a more spectacular view of the falls. The path is well used and easy to follow, with traces of an old rock stone fence along the way.

The falls can be truly spectacular, and the river below the falls is a great place to take a swim. Just be careful, as there is no lifeguard on duty. Whether you are looking for a scenic hike or a place to cool off on a hot day, the Kings River Falls Trail is definitely worth checking out. Come out and explore the Kings River Falls Trail – you will not be disappointed!

Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 1.8 Miles
Total Elevation Gain: 72 Feet

3. Magnolia Falls

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This 2.1-mile out-and-back trail near Pettigrew, Arkansas, is generally considered an accessible route. It takes an average of 52 min to complete and is popular for hiking. Dogs are welcome but must be on a leash. The trail is open year-round and is beautiful to visit anytime. You can still enjoy some solitude on this popular trail during quieter times of the day.

You will likely see other hikers, but the route is large enough that you will not feel crowded. The trailhead starts at a parking area marked by a Wilderness Area sign. You will follow an old jeep trail through the woods to the left of a small creek bed.

After crossing an old stone wall, the trail opens up to provide views of the falls. The falls flow over a mossy, rocky cliff into a small pool of water below. This is a great spot to take a break, relax, and enjoy the scenery.

If you are looking for a bit of adventure, continue past the falls on the trail. The trail becomes more complex as it climbs uphill, but the views are worth it. You will reach the top of the ridge and be rewarded with views of the valley below. Once you are done enjoying the view, head back the way you came to return to the parking area.

Whether you are looking for a short and easy hike or a more extended adventure, Magnolia Falls Trail is a great option. This trail has something for everyone and is a great way to enjoy the beauty of Arkansas.

Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 2.1 Miles
Total Elevation Gain: 226 Feet

4. Lost Valley Trail

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If you are looking for a moderate challenge near Ponca, Arkansas, Lost Valley Trail is the perfect option. This 2.3-mile out-and-back trail takes an average of 57 minutes to complete. It is a popular spot for birding, hiking, and trail running, so you are likely to encounter other people while exploring. The trail is open year-round and is beautiful at any time of year. However, please note that dogs are not allowed on this trail.

The highlight of the Lost Valley Trail is undoubtedly Eden Falls. This 40-foot-tall waterfall is one of the most popular natural features in all of Arkansas. The best time to visit is during the spring or fall when the water flow is at its highest. However, Eden Falls is a stunning sight even during the summer months.

Along the way, you will also pass by several natural bridges. These bridges were formed over time by the erosive power of Clark Creek. The creek itself is a popular spot for fishing, so be sure to bring your tackle if you’re hoping to snag a fish or two.

The trailhead for the Lost Valley Trail is located at the Lost Valley Campground. To get there, take Highway 43 north from Ponca for about 4 miles. Then, turn onto Forest Road 1023 and follow the signs to the campground. There is a small parking fee, but it is well worth it for the incredible views that await you on this lovely trail.

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 2.3 Miles
Total Elevation Gain: 252 Feet

5. Whitaker Point Trail (Hawksbill Crag)

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Whitaker Point Trail (Hawksbill Crag) is one of Arkansas’s most popular hiking trails. The 2.9-mile out-and-back trail is located near Pettigrew, Arkansas, and is generally considered a moderately challenging route. The average time to complete the trail is 1 h 16 min.

The trail is open year-round and is beautiful to visit anytime. Dogs are welcome but must be on a leash. You will likely encounter other people while exploring, as this is a very popular area for hiking.

Whether you are an experienced hiker or just getting started, Whitaker Point Trail (Hawksbill Crag) is an excellent option for a fun and challenging hike. Be sure to pack plenty of water and snacks, and enjoy the stunning views!

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 2.9 Miles
Total Elevation Gain: 413 Feet

6. Centerpoint to Goat Trail

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If you are looking for breathtaking views and an adventurous hike, look no further than the Centerpoint to Goat Trail in Buffalo National River. With a 500 ft. tall bluff overlooking the river, this trail is not for the faint of heart.

The Goat Trail, a side trail that leads to an outcropping on the bluff, is especially adventurous and not recommended for children or those afraid of heights. But the views are more than worth it. Give yourself plenty of time to enjoy the scenery and make the trek back out.

As you hike the Centerpoint to Goat Trail, keep your eyes peeled for the aged junipers that line the trail. Some of these trees are over 800 years old, and it’s truly amazing to see them clinging to the sheer rock walls. Take a moment to pause and wonder at their tenacity as you enjoy the views from the trail.

And do not forget to keep an eye out for the wildlife that calls this place home. Buzzards tend to be the most abundant, but you might also catch a glimpse of a feral goat or two.

Soak in the views and enjoy your time on this incredible trail.

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 5.9 Miles
Total Elevation Gain: 1,076 Feet

7. Glory Hole Waterfall Trail

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This 1.9-mile out-and-back trail near Deer, Arkansas, is a great way to see some fantastic scenery. The waterfall at the end of the trail is definitely worth the hike. The trail is considered moderately challenging, but most people can complete it in about 55 minutes.

Keep in mind that this is a very popular spot for hiking, so you may encounter other people on the trail. The trail is open year-round and is beautiful to visit at any time of year. Dogs are welcome but must be kept on a leash.

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 1.9 Miles
Total Elevation Gain: 410 Feet

8. Eagle Rock Loop

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Eagle Rock Loop is a 26.5-mile loop trail near Langley, Arkansas, that generally takes 11 hours and 39 minutes to complete. The trail is popular for backpacking, camping, and hiking and is open year-round. Dogs are welcome on the trail but must be kept on a leash. Eagle Rock Loop offers beautiful views year-round and is a great place to explore nature.

Eagle Rock Loop offers stunning views of the Ozarks, Arkansas River Valley, and the Boston Mountains. There are also plenty of opportunities to see wildlife, including eagles, deer, and wild turkeys. This is an excellent trail for experienced hikers looking for a challenge.

Difficulty: Challenging
Distance: 26.5 Miles
Total Elevation Gain: 3,996 Feet

9. Hemmed in Hollow Trail

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This 5.7-mile out-and-back trail near Compton, Arkansas, is generally considered a challenging route. It takes an average of 2 hours 52 min to complete. This is a very popular area for hiking, so you will likely encounter other people while exploring. The trail is open year-round and is beautiful to visit anytime. You will need to leave pups at home — dogs are not allowed on this trail.

Hemmed in Hollow Falls is the main attraction on this trail. The falls are located at the end of a steep, strenuous hike down (and then back up!) to the Buffalo River. The reward for your hard work is a stunning 80-foot waterfall. Along the way, you will enjoy views of Hemmed in Hollow Creek and the surrounding Ozark Mountains.

Make sure to bring plenty of water and snacks, as there is no water available along the trail. Also, be sure to wear sturdy shoes and leave early in the day to avoid being caught out after dark.

This is an incredibly rewarding hike that shouldn’t be missed by any nature lover visiting Arkansas.

Difficulty: Challenging
Distance: 5.7 Miles
Total Elevation Gain: 1,414 Feet

10. Pinnacle Mountain West Summit Trail

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Pinnacle Mountain West Summit Trail is a 1.5-mile out-and-back trail near Little Rock, Arkansas. The trail is generally considered to be challenging, with an average completion time of 59 minutes.

Due to its popularity, hikers are likely to encounter others while exploring the trail. The trail is open year-round and offers scenic views any time of year. Dogs are welcome but must be kept on a leash.

The trailhead is located at the Pinnacle Mountain State Park visitor center. From the visitor center, the trail leads uphill for about a mile before reaching the summit of Pinnacle Mountain.

The summit offers views of Lake Maumelle, the Arkansas River Valley, and the Ouachita Mountains. Hikers can either retrace their steps back to the visitor center or take the East Summit Trail down to the base trail for a total hike of 2.5 miles.

Difficulty: Challenging
Distance: 1.5 Miles
Total Elevation Gain: 725 Feet

Which One Will You Explore First?

Overall, these are some of the best hiking trails that Arkansas has to offer. They vary in difficulty, so there is something for everyone. No matter what your skill level, you’re sure to find a trail that you will enjoy.

Get out there and explore nature! And don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the beautiful scenery.