Arkansas backpacking trails
 Cane Creek State Park

Backpacking Trails in Arkansas

State Parks

Choose Arkansas backpacking trails ranging adventures along trail lengths ranging from four miles at the Hobbs State Park-Conservation Area to the 222-mile Ouachita Trail accessible from Queen Wilhelmina and Pinnacle Mountain state parks.

Cossatot - The River Trail follows the length of the canyon of the Cossatot River for 14 miles from Hwy. 246 to U.S. 278. Parts are rugged and strenuous and are not for the beginning hiker. The Arkansas backpacking trail climbs to several bluff overlooks. Along the way, the trail connects five river access points, four offering campsites. Some campsites are primitive; others have composting toilets (Hwy. 246 and Ed Banks), tent pads and fire rings. Camping is allowed at these designated campsites only. View Cossatot Calendar of Events 

Devil's Den - The 15-mile Butterfield Hiking Trail leads hikers deep into the hills and hollows of the rugged Ozark Mountains. This backpacking trail from the park through the Ozark National Forest is well-maintained. Backpackers can choose from two primitive camp areas. This is a hilly hike past bluffs and boulders in one of the largest crevice areas in North America. Whether you hike it as a family or by yourself, backpacking on this trail is an enjoyable experience. Hikers are required to obtain a free backcountry permit at the visitor center before venturing onto this trail. View Devil's Den Calendar of Events

Hobbs - Pigeon Roost Trail is an eight and one-half-mile loop in a figure eight formation giving the hiker options of four mile loops or the entire route. This moderately difficult backpacking trail is excellent for beginners, scouts and families looking for adventure and scenery without having to travel a great distance. Campsites are marked with signs and each has a tent pad and fire ring. View Hobbs Calendar of Events

The trailhead and its associated parking area are located on Hwy. 12. The backpacking trail passes several sinkholes and some portions follow ridges overlooking Beaver Lake. Some of the primitive campsites on the trail offer views of the lake, especially in winter when leaves are off the trees in the surrounding Ozark oak/hickory/pine forest. Wild turkey, white-tailed deer and other wildlife are commonly seen along the trail.

Mount Magazine - The Cove Lake Trail leaves the north end of the park and goes down the mountain nine miles to Cove Lake, a USDA Forest Service Recreation Area. Backpacking is allowed outside the state park on this trail. View Mount Magazine Calendar of Events

Huckleberry Mountain Trail is a multi-use trail, 34 miles in length, used by horsemen, ORV's, mountain bikers and backpackers. There are three loops that cross creeks and connect Mount Magazine with Huckleberry Mountain. Camping is allowed on the portions of trail within the national forest.

Mount Nebo - The 4 ½-mile Bench Trail circles the mountain and is an easy walk through Mount Nebo's mixed pine and hardwood forest. You'll pass historic features such as springs and Fern Lake and see rock work done by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the early 1930s. Ten hike-in/backpacking campsites are located on the portion of the backpacking trail that stretches along the southwest side of the mountain from Sunrise Point to Sunset Point. View Mount Nebo Calendar of Events

Pinnacle Mountain - The park visitor center is the eastern terminus of the 222-mile Ouachita Trail. Twice a year, the park offers a three-hour workshop for beginner backpackers, that includes information on backpacking gear, trail foods, planning and safety. For class graduates there is an optional 10-mile backpacking trip on the Ouachita Trail. View Pinnacle Mountain Calendar of Events

Queen Wilhelmina - The 222-mile Ouachita Trail stretches through the east-west trending Ouachita Mountains of western Arkansas. It is the longest backpacking trail in the Ouachita National Forest spanning from Pinnacle Mountain State Park just west of Little Rock, Arkansas to Talimena State Park near Talihina, Oklahoma. Near the western edge of Arkansas, the trail passes through Queen Wilhelmina State Park located high atop Rich Mountain, the state's second highest mountain. The park features Queen Wilhelmina Lodge, a hostelry known as Arkansas's Castle in the Clouds [NOTE: Queen Wilhelmina State Park Lodge is closed until late 2014 while undergoing a major renovation.]. Queen Wilhelmina State Park, with its lodge, campsites and the panoramic views from its lofty locale, is a perfect rest stop on the trail, a beginning point or a cache location for geocaching enthusiasts. View Queen Wilhelmina Calendar of Events