The Road Less Traveled

Tales from our state’s three thru-hiking trails, and tips from those in the know on how to go the distance

Three hundred million years ago, continents collided and our uplands were born. The crushed and folded rock that became the Ouachitas formed peculiar east-west running ridges. A singular plateau lifted from below became the Ozarks, its individual peaks, ridges and valleys formed over eons by trickling water. These ranges are two sections of the only highland region between the Appalachians and the Rockies. Both offer stunning views, towering hardwoods and a diverse flora and fauna.

But beyond the geology and ecology, there is a rare and breathtaking loneliness in the hills. A wild and primitive spirit resides in the shaded hollows and wind-blown bluffs. And the best, most intimate way to experience all that the mountains of Arkansas have to offer is on foot. Just you, maybe a few friends, and a quiet path through the woods.

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