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Top 7 Hiking Destinations in The Ozarks

Michaela Karr on the Appalachian Trail. (Photo courtesy of Michaela Karr)

Michaela Karr may be a nursing student in Springfield, Mo., by day, but her true passion is hiking and the outdoors.  She’s had the opportunity to walk the trails of many parks and natural areas all over the United States. The Scoop recently talked with Karr about her top 7 hiking destinations in the Ozarks.

7. Whitaker Point/Buffalo River: This is “an iconic hiking destination in Arkansas with a beautiful view and awesome photo opportunity.”  With a moderate hiking difficulty, most should be able to make the well appreciated trek.

6. Hemmed-In Hollow/Buffalo River: “A BEAUTIFUL hike which brings you a tall waterfall.  It’s best in the spring after heavy rain.”  Again a moderate difficulty, but well worth the effort.

5. Ha Ha Tonka State Park: This park has “beautiful scenery, especially the spring and it’s fun seeing the castle ruins!”  Clocking in with an easy difficulty anyone should be able to experience the sights at this park.

4. Pinnacle Mountain State Park (Pinnacle Mountain West Summit Trail): “This trail has crazy beautiful views of the lake and forest.”  Warning, This is a difficult trail not for inexperienced hikers!

3. Devils Den State Park (Devils Den Trail): “This is a beautiful trail with waterfalls, camping accessibility, and kid friendly.”  Be prepared for this trail with a moderate difficulty.

2. Natural Springs State Park (Dripping Spring Trail): “This park has a very short loop trail near Concord, Oklahoma. It’s on a lake with an easy paved trail, but with a beautiful view of the falls.”  Everyone can enjoy this scenic trail with an easy difficulty.

1. Ozark Highlands Trail: Saving the “best for last, this trail is the best local opportunity for a multi-day backpacking trip.  You can do the entire trail or just a section of the hike. It’s best to hike in October-June. It’s a great way to prepare for longer trips, such as the Appalachian Trail or Pacific Crest Trail, and see beautiful Arkansas scenery!”

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