Arkansas has a number of trails with minimal obstacles. Some are very easy and others are wheelchair accessible. Here are just a few of them.
These links were found through Internet search. I would love to have some first-hand recommendations. With your help, we can share our knowledge with disabled people everywhere and also increase awareness of the need for more accessibility. Please e-mail me with your suggestions using the form in the sidebar.
Buffalo National River
The Buffalo National River flows freely for 135 miles. It is one of the few remaining undammed rivers in the lower 48 states. Main phone number at Tyler Bend 870-439-2502 Map Hiking Trails
BuffaloRiver.org has links to trail descriptions including difficulty for the upper and middle districts.
Quite a few of these trails sound as if they might be easy, although not suitable for wheelchairs. Call the visitor centers to learn more.
Brochure of Upper District Trails Pruitt Visitor Center phone 870-446-5373
Lost Valley 2.3 miles one way has views of the river from the bluffs.
Erble-Cedar Grove 4.3 mile one way to a historic cemetery
Ponds Trail 0.4 mile with a viewing deck on the South Pond.
Koen Interpretive Trail 0.4 mile with identified trees.
Collier Homestead 0.6 mile to historic site.
Koen Interpretive Trail – Buffalo River The link goes to a blog called “Exploring Northwest Arkansas” by btoellner. It contains a description and photographs of this trail.
Ouachita National Forest Lake Sylvia Brochure phone 501-321-5202 Call first to be sure the area is open.
Trees of the Forest 0.4 miles “The Trees of the Forest interpretive trail is an accessible trail for the physically disabled visitors. Each interpretive sign features information on the variety of tree species found in the area. Each sign also offers the text in Braille format.”
Ozark-St. Francis National Forests
“The Ozark National Forest covers 1.2 million acres, mostly in the Ozark mountains of northern Arkansas.” It encompasses the tallest mountain in the State, Mount Magazine, and the Blanchard Springs Caverns.
“The St. Francis National Forest covers 22,600 acres in eastern Arkansas, one of the smallest and most diverse forests in the country.”
There are “recreational opportunities for camping, hiking, swimming, fishing, hunting, boating, scenic drives, picnics sites, and opportunities for wildlife viewing.”
Henry Koen Experimental Forest
The 720 acre Henry R. Koen Experimental Forest (Koen) is covered mostly in oak-hickory upland hardwood forest and oak-pine stands.
Henry Koen Nature Trail 0.5 mile interpretive trail
Hammerschmidt Falls Trail 1.2 miles “good for all skill levels”
The Experimental Forest is within the Ozark National forest so you might call the Jasper Ranger District office for information 870-446-5122.
Forest Headquarters phone 479-964-7200
Accessibility Brochure and chart published by the Arkansas State Parks, shows accessible features in each of the state parks. “100% disabled” persons receive half off camping fees in Arkansas State Parks. You need written proof of disability.
Bull – Shoals State Park
“Bull Shoals-White River State Park stretches along the riverside and lakeshore where the White River and Bull Shoals Lake join at the Bull Shoals Dam. Together these waters form one of the nation’s finest fishing and boating combinations.”
Gaston Wildflower Garden Area and Trail 0.75 mile paved loop
Cossatot River State Park-Natural Area
The Park “stretches for 12 miles along the wild and scenic Cossatot River, Arkansas’s premier whitewater experience renowned as the best whitewater float stream in mid-America.”
? Brushy Creek Interpretive Trail 0.75 mile “through mixed – southern forest cover, and offers a scenic view overlooking the Cossatot River/Brushy Creek union.” Tree Guide This trail is described as “barrier-free”, but I see there is a “flight of stairs” down to the parking lot at the end. Better call ahead to learn more.
Waterleaf Interpretive Trail ” … begins at the visitor center and includes a section of barrier-free trail along the ridge top.”
Brochure Phone 870-385-2201
Crater of Diamonds State Park
The purpose of this park is to “manage and interpret this unique site and to provide a meaningful diamond mining experience for all guests and future generations. ….. visitors from around the world search for diamonds in a 37-acre field….. Over 75,000 diamonds have been found at “The Crater.” Other, semi-precious, stones can be found.
The River Trail 1.2 miles goes through the woods to the scenic Little Missouri River. “Half of the trail is paved and barrier-free with exhibits.”
Brochure Phone 870-285-3113
Crowley’s Lake State Park
“Atop the forested hills in northeast Arkansas, Crowley’s Ridge State Park occupies the former homestead of Benjamin Crowley, whose family first settled this area. Native log and stone structures, constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s, set the mood for this park’s rustic warmth.”
Lake Ponder Trail 0.45 mile loop A good place to see sensitive fern and other plants that grow along the marshy shoreline.
Walcott Lake Trail 0.5 mile The trail runs along the top of the fishing lake levee and is good for spotting water birds
Brochure Trail Guide Phone 870-573-6751
Daisy State Park
Daisy State Park is on the shore of 7,000 acre Lake Greeson in the foothills of the Ouachita Mountains. You will find mountain scenery and great fishing.
? Daisy Creek Trail 0.75 mile loop. The trail “highlights the different ecosystems of Daisy State Park. It begins in a heavily wooded area and meanders along Daisy Creek and Lake Greeson. The trail offers wildlife viewing opportunities including waterfowl, small mammals, owls, and other local wildlife.” In at least one State website, this trail is called “accessible”. Better call to find out.
Brochure Phone 870-398-4487
Hobbs State Park
Hobbs State Park-Conservation Area (HSPCA) covers diverse Ozark landscape along 22 miles of the southern shore of Beaver Lake. The park has plateaus, ridges, valleys, and streams in an upland forest of oak, hickory and pine. There are many water features.
Ozark Plateau Trail 0.25 mile Concrete surface inner loop and .50 of a mile crushed stone outer “challenge” loop. “Wheelchair accessible and meets ADA guidelines”
Historic Van Winkle Trail 0.5 mile
Janet Huckabee Arkansas River Valley Nature Center in Fort Smith.
The center overlooks Wells Lake. There is a wide variety of birds and other animals.
Wells Lake Trail 0.7 miles
Beaver Creek Trail 0.3 miles
Phone 479-452-3993 Trails
Louisiana Purchase State Park
“This National Historic Landmark at the junction of Lee, Monroe and Phillips counties preserves the initial point from which all surveys of the property acquired from the French through the Louisiana Purchase of 1803 initiated. ”
Boardwalk 950-foot “leads to the beginning point from which the Louisiana Purchase was surveyed. The headwater cypress swamp is interpreted by signs and wayside exhibits along the boardwalk.”
Brochure Boardwalk Guide Phone 870-572-2352
The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy lists wheelchair accessible trails in Arkansas.