Of all of northwest Arkansas’ many natural wonders, Lost Valley State Park ranks right up there – particularly, if you’re looking for a great hike within a short driving distance from Springfield.
Lost Valley State Park, located just south of Ponca, AR, is approximately a two-hour drive from Springfield. And, as with most adventures, it’s not just about the destination. Be sure to enjoy the scenic journey through the Buffalo National River area on your way there.
Lost Valley – an Easy Hike
This is an easy 2.1 mile trail. The trail goes alongside Clark Creek, and is fairly level until it nears the end. Then, it’s just a brief climb to the end of the trail.
Bring your flashlight if you enjoy discovering caves, because along the trail, to the right of the creek, are a couple of small caves for you to explore on your way to the big prize at the end of the trail.
Lost Valley Trail Full of Surprises
“What prize?” you may be asking. Well, near the end of the trail is a cave opening, called Cob Cave. This huge cave is a blast into the past, as it was once the dwelling for Native Americans. You won’t realize just how big it is until you are standing deep inside it.
While you’re admiring the cave, you’re likely to feel the light, cool spray of the neighboring 40-foot Eden Falls. Many times, you’ll see people rappelling off the top of the cliff near the falls.
Near Eden Falls is the Eden Cave. It’s a bit of a squeeze to get into the cave. However, it’s definitely worth the effort, because after crawling for about 20-feet, you’ll enter into a large room with an approximately 25-foot high waterfall. You’ll want to bring a couple of reliable flashlights for your trip inside.
This is a great way to spend a day.
Located just south of Ponca on Hwy 43, Lost Valley has good signage and is easy to find.
At this writing, arkansasstateparks.com reported that the Clark Creek footbridge at the trailhead has been washed out by recent floods. So, they’re asking hikers to stay away from the damaged bridge. Before taking a trip to this trail, check with Caven Clark, public information officer, by calling 870-688-6810.
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