The Ozark Highlands National Recreation Trail is one of the most spectacular trails you'll ever hike on. The 165 mile trial stretches from Lake Fort Smith State Park all the way to the Buffalo National River.
If you're a beginning hiker you can still enjoy the trail. You'll find that it's been broken into many shorter more manageable hikes. You can always contact the Ozark Highland Trails Association and join them for an outing. They list upcoming events on their site.
For you folks that are old pros at hiking you'll find the trails challenging will be rewarded with views beyond compare. If you're new to the Ozarks make sure you study the local wildlife before starting off. I've listed resources at the bottom of the page.
A word about chiggers. Chiggers are tiny red bugs that gather where every your clothes fit closest to your body, like the top of socks or under your waistband. You can barely see them and they come in clusters. When they bite you, you'll itch like crazy for two or three days. Regular mosquito repellent will also discourage chiggers. If you're not up for chemical repellents powdered sulpher will work just as well.
Please remember that not all rural areas have 911 service as of yet. If you are carrying a cell phone as most folks do these days make certain that you get the emergency services numbers for the county you'll be hiking in. In the event of an accident you'll be able to contact the correct authorities with a minimum of fuss. This should be done even if you only plan to hike for a couple of hours or so.
While you're on your Ozarks vacation make time for at least one trail. With the wide number of short hikes available it's a great addition to your travel plans. Always wear sensible shoes, stay on the trail and follow safety rules even for short hikes.
Have a great trip!
Ozark Highlands Trail Maps and Mileage
Ozark Highlands Trail Association
Lake Fort Smith State Park
Poisonous Snakes of Arkansas
How to remove a tick
What is giardia?
Be aware of bears
Hiking for beginners
Low impact camping
First aid kit list for hikers
Buffalo National River