[This post was originally published on November 18, 2011 in the blog "Exploring Northwest Arkansas." Note: for up-to-date information on what caves are open in the Buffalo National River, check with the National Park Service.]
The Lost Valley Trail is the most popular hiking trail in the Buffalo River area – and for good reason. It’s easy to get to, easy to hike, very family friendly, and has more “bang for your buck” than nearly any hike anywhere.
This is the first trail I hiked in Arkansas, and it is one of the many reasons I fell in love with the area. It has everything: a natural bridge, high bluffs, beautiful woods, moss-covered rocks, a beautiful waterfall, and even a cave (that also has a waterfall).
The Shaddox Hollow Trail, at Hobbs State Park-Conservation Area near Rogers, Arkansas, is a very pleasant little loop trail if you don’t mind some climbing. I enjoy trails with hilly terrain. I think they make a trail interesting and pretty.
From the trailhead, the trail heads downhill into a creek valley. There are a lot of interesting rock walls and bluffs visible in the lower areas.
The trail follows a creek bed for a little ways before turning back up to the higher terrain (about 250 feet elevation change).
Yesterday, I had a nice hike on the 2.3-mile Pedestal Rocks Trail in the Ozark National Forest. Like the King’s Bluff Loop Trail I hiked about a month ago, it is (not surprisingly) in the Pedestal Rocks Scenic Area, about 45 minutes northeast of Clarksville.
It was a good hike except that I got a late start. It was pretty dark by the time I took some of my rock formation pictures. That’s why some of the photos I posted look overexposed and bizarre.
The bluff areas are very pretty, but you should be very careful in those areas. Many of these areas have dangerous cliffs with no guard rails.