Nestled in the beautiful Ozark Mountains of Arkansas, Devils Den State Park is a paradise for nature lovers, outdoor enthusiasts, and horseback riders alike. Spanning over 2,500 acres of rugged terrain, the park offers an extensive trail system that winds through scenic landscapes, breathtaking views, and diverse wildlife habitats. For equestrians seeking a memorable riding experience, here are some of the best horse trails at Devils Den State Park.
1. Butterfield Hiking Trail – This 15-mile trail is one of the most renowned in the park, attracting hikers and horseback riders alike. Named after the historic Butterfield Overland Mail Route, this trail showcases the park's natural beauty and provides a moderate challenge suitable for riders of all skill levels. Along the way, riders will encounter peaceful streams, dense forests, and mesmerizing rock formations that make for a truly memorable journey.
2. Vista Point Trail – As the name suggests, this trail treats riders to stunning panoramic vistas of the surrounding mountains and valleys. The 5.4-mile loop combines all the natural wonders of the park, including dense woodlands, diverse wildlife, and picturesque streams. Be prepared to be dazzled by the breathtaking fall foliage during autumn, making it an ideal time to explore this trail.
3. Fossil Flats Trail – Situated on the south side of Lee Creek, the Fossil Flats Trail is a 3.5-mile loop that offers a remarkable glimpse into the area's geological history. Traveling through towering bluffs and along the winding creek, riders can enjoy the unique sensation of riding through time. This trail is perfect for those seeking a more leisurely ride while enjoying the peaceful ambiance of the lush forest.
4. Lodge Trail – Beginning near the park's visitor center, the Lodge Trail stretches for 3 miles through forested areas, culminating at the park's iconic CCC-built rock dam. Horseback riders can follow this trail and witness the park's rich history and architectural wonders while crossing paths with other nature enthusiasts exploring on foot. This trail is great for beginners or those wanting a shorter ride.
5. Ozark Highlands Trail – Although the full length of the 218-mile Ozark Highlands Trail stretches far beyond the confines of Devils Den State Park, the park serves as an excellent access point for hikers and riders looking to explore a portion of this legendary trail. Accessible from various points within the park, riders can embark on shorter, more manageable sections of the trail while enjoying the beauty of the Ozarks.
Before setting off on any of the horse trails, it is important to note that riders are required to bring their own horses, as the park does not provide horse rentals or guided tours. Additionally, be sure to obtain a trail map and familiarize yourself with the park's rules and regulations, including trail hours and any seasonal closures.
Whether you are a seasoned rider or a novice equestrian, Devils Den State Park offers a range of captivating horse trails that will leave you with unforgettable memories of natural splendor. From panoramic vistas to lush forests, these trails showcase the best of what this remarkable park has to offer. So, saddle up, explore the trails, and embark on an equestrian adventure at Devils Den State Park.