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Backpacker Magazine – March 2014

Early Spring Hikes: Central

As soon as the ice thaws, take advantage of these season starters.

by: Sarah Stewart

(Aaron Peterson) Find sea caves a mile northeast of Meyers Beach
(Aaron Peterson) Find sea caves a mile northeast of Meyers Beach
(Tom and Pat Leeson) Mallards nesting in waterside foliage in March
(Tom and Pat Leeson) Mallards nesting in waterside foliage in March

Buckeye-Caney Creek Loop, Caney Creek Wilderness, AR

Tom Trigg
Dierks, AR

Overnight near a cataract on this 10-mile loop in the Ouachitas. From the Buckeye trailhead, ascend 2,254-foot Buckeye Mountain where views of the surrounding wooded crests await. Breathe deeply for sweet wild plum blooming in March. Continue 2.5 miles west, descending to camp near 12-foot, rock-cradled Katy Falls at mile 4.6 (no permit). Day two, cross crystal-clear Caney Creek six times to close the loop. Trip data 

Coyote Run, Cooper Lake SP, TX

Kody Waters
Sulphur Springs, TX  

Wind through bottomland forest on this 4.7-mile lasso loop. At .7 mile, cross a wooden bridge surrounded by 10- to 15-foot-tall river cane. Watch for feral hogs foraging in the hardwood lowlands and cross two more creeks (via bridges) to a meadow of little bluestem and feathergrass at mile 2.5. See frilly, white Queen Anne’s lace and spiky, green antelope horn (blooming in spring), then close the loop and retrace your steps. Trip data 

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