Follows the upper rim of Bear Hollow from the Benefield Picnic Area to the northern trailhead at Ark. 309 just below the horse camp. Points of interest include WPA steps, Sunrise Rock, Inspiration Point, Bear Head Bluff, and Shoal Creek. Some of the best scenery on the mountain is found along this trail. It crosses several wet-weather creeks which lead to beautiful waterfalls. The upper part of the hollow has never been logged and is some of the last remaining virgin hardwood forest in Arkansas. This trail offers hikers options of starting at the picnic area or near the visitor center to create a 7.5-mile loop connecting four other trails.
The first part of this trail, just north of the picnic area, was originally constructed by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in 1938. For those wanting to make a short loop, a spur trail reconnects with the Benefield West Loop just west of the main trail junction. (Orange blazes)
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Wanting to photograph wild flowers, butterflies, and enjoy the views and get a workout, Bear Hollow Trail delivered. Several times I noticed hat I heard no cars, or any other signs of civilization.
Richard Jablinski (6/21/2013)