Ozarks Highland Trail (Richland to Woolum)

This is a great trail that travels along Richland Creek, through the Richland Creek Wilderness and the Buffalo Wildlife Management Area. Together, these two wild areas form one of the wildest areas in the Ozark Mountains, which accounts for the largest black bear population in Arkansas. This area is also home to many other species of wildlife and it is not rare to view Elk, Whitetail Deer and Wild Turkey along the trail during the day and hear the howel of Coyotes at night. This trail travels along Richland Creek and then works it’s way up along the bluffline, overlooking the Richland Creek valley. As the trail winds along the bluffs, you will see numerous rock formations to include some really nice pedastals. If you take a short side hike, you can even witness a favorite rock pedestal called “The Stack”. As the trail continues, you wind along other feeder streams and along the blufflines of several large canyons, before coming to an area known as “The Nars”. This is a narrow rock formation, then if you dare and are very careful, you can climb and have a tremendous view of the Buffalo River on one side and the Richland Valley on the other. Be aware, this area is dangerous and the rock on this area is very unpredictable and fragile. After a short hike from “The Nars”, you get to ford the Buffalo River before reaching the end of the trail at Woolum. This is a great multi-day hike, through a wild and beautiful area of the Ozarks.

Trail Details

  • Location: Arkansas
  • Total Mileage: 20.9 miles
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Maintained: Yes
  • Elevation: 546 feet
  • Water Crossings: Yes
  • Camping: Backcountry camping
  • Head Height:
  • Access to Water: Yes
  • Marked: Yes
  • Directions:

    North Approach: Take AR Hwy 123 East from Lurton, which is about 26 miles south of Jasper on Scenic Hwy 7, between Pelsor/Sand Gap and Cowell. Go 1.5 miles, then Turn Right onto FR# 1200/CR# 36. Travel 6.8 miles, then Continue Straight/Turn Right onto FR# 1205/CR# 37. Go another 1.6 miles to a four way junction of sorts. This is Iceledo Gap. Turn Right onto what appears a driveway, drive down the hill and past the house, then across a small stream. The road will end after 0.8 miles at Hill Cemetery. The first part of this road passes through private property, so be sure to not tresspass. Also, the road is starting to get rough in places, and a high clearance vehicle may be needed.

    South Approach: From the intersection of AR Hwy 7/16/123 at Pelsor/Sand Gap, head East on Hwy 16 approx. 9.8 miles, just past the small community of Ben Hur, to FR# 1205/CR# 68/Upper Falling Water Rd. Turn Left and go about 10 miles to the campground entrance on your left.