Caney Creek Wilderness Trails
Ouachita National Forest, Arkansas & Oklahoma
Trail Highlights: Caney Creek Trail generally follows the Caney Creek drainage. The trail crosses Blaylock Creek, Caney Creek, Katy Creek and the Cossatot River for a total of 13 stream crossings which are subject to flash flooding during heavy rain. Vegetation types, which occur along the creek, include beech tree stands, large pines and bottom land hardwoods Buckeye Trail generally follows a ridge offering many vistas before winding down to the Caney Creek Trail. Tall Peak Trail is a steep rugged trail once you leave the Saline River. It begins in Shady Lake Recreation Area but can also be accessed from Forest Service Road 38. Look for large granite rocks about 1.8 miles north of Shady Lake Recreation Area entrance. These trails lead into a 14,460 acre congressionally designated wilderness - a place for solitude and primitive recreation.
Other Opportunities: Caney Creek Wilderness, Valuable Forest Trail, Athens Big Fork Trail, Shady Lake Recreation Area
Length: 17.5 miles; Travel time one way - 14 to 18 hours.
Trail Information: The trails in the wilderness are not marked or signed. You need a map and compass to enjoy the trail and explore the wilderness. Rock cairns are at the Buckeye Trail intersection. Keep them on your right going uphill. Several trails have been closed for revegetation. Please respect these closures.
Access: West Caney Creek Trailhead - From State Hwy. 71 at Vandervoort take State Hwy. 246 east 11 miles to Forest Service Road 31. On Forest Service Road 31 travel 10 miles to the trailhead. East Caney Creek and Buckeye Trailhead - Continue an additional 14 miles on State Hwy. 246 to Forest Service Road 38. Travel Forest Service Road 38 for 7 miles north to the Caney Creek Trailhead or 8 miles north to the Buckeye Trailhead.
History: In 1935, 8,300 acres of what is now Caney Creek Wilderness was designated as a Game Refuge. On January 3, 1975, Caney Creek Wilderness became part of the National Wilderness Preservation System.
Requirements: Although not prohibited, stock (pack animals) users will find these trails are not designed or maintained for stock use. Buckeye and Tall Peak Trails are not recommended for use with stock. Mountain bikes and motorized equipment are prohibited.