About a week ago, I got to hike the Cedar Creek Trail (aka “Cedar Creek Self-Guided Trail”) at Petit Jean State Park. It had been about 4 years since I hiked this trail, and I had forgotten how pretty it is.
It is especially nice after there has been recent rain. When I hiked it last week, there had been quite a bit of recent rain in central Arkansas.
This 1.1-mile loop trail has some climbing, but it is not very difficult. There is only about 240 feet of total elevation gain. The net elevation change is about 120 feet.
The Cedar Creek Trailhead is easy to find. It is on the park’s main road (Petit Jean Mountain Road), about a half-mile east of Mather Lodge. Just watch for the pioneer cabin at the trailhead.
Terry Keefe Falls is a really great waterfall that is a short hike off of Falling Water Road – or as a spur trail off of the Ozark Highlands Trail.
Getting to Terry Keefe Falls
Head to Falling Water Falls Road near the Richland Creek Recreation Area. To get there from Jasper, take Highway 7 south to Pelsor, and then take Highway 16 east for 10 miles (past the Pedestal Rocks Special Interest Area and Community of Ben Hur) and turn LEFT onto Forest Road 1205 (also called Falling Water Falls Road).
After turning on Falling Water Falls Road, take the road 5.3 miles to the bridge crossing across Falling Water Creek. Continue on this road for another mile to a spot where a creek comes in from the right and flows under the road. This is about 2.8 miles from the Richland Creek Campground if you’re coming from that direction.
Park where you can here.
Hiking to Terry Keefe Falls
The trail starts off on your right and heads up into the woods. It’s a well-worn trail and pretty easy to find. (When we were there, there was pink tape marking the spot.)
Back on May 30, I spent a nice weekend at Bull Shoals-White River State Park. When I arrived that evening, I walked the Lakeside Trail, a 1-mile semi-loop trail, part of which (as you would expect) borders Bull Shoals Lake.
It was a very pleasant walk. The trail has some great views of the lake, especially on the part that extends out onto a small peninsula.
A few weeks ago, I got to walk the Lake Wister Hiking Trail at Lake Wister State Park, near Poteau, Oklahoma. The 3-mile trail runs on the north side of the lake, parallel to (and south of) County Road 138. It goes from a paved walking path at the Wards Landing area to the east end near the swimming pool and miniature golf course.
The most scenic part of the trail is the mile or so on the east end that runs nearest to the shoreline. The best time to walk the trail is during leaf-off when the lake is much more visible in this part of the trail.
From the air, Lake Wister is about 15 miles north of Winding Stair Mountain (Ouachita National Forest). The mountain can be seen to the south from much of the lake.