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Backpacker Magazine – November 2012

Top 3: Ghostly Hikes

Test your courage—and your quads—this Halloween on one of these spooky cemetery trails.

by: Sarah L. Stewart

Chaco's Pueblo Alto (Photo by Jim Spadaccini)
Chaco's Pueblo Alto (Photo by Jim Spadaccini)

Buffalo National River, AR  
Buffalo River Trail   
Explore 19th-century Ozark graveyards.

 By 1860, a few thousand homesteaders had built a life in the Buffalo River Valley’s limestone hills and fertile bottomlands, but 150 years later, the abandoned area feels like a ghost town. Wander the remnants of their lost civilization on this 13-mile shuttle hike past forgotten farms and three of the area’s 40 cemeteries. From Kyles Landing, ascend a 500-foot river bluff en route to 155-year-old Cherry Grove cemetery at mile 5.1, a shady, hilltop repose for 168 souls. Continue 2.1 miles to riverside Erbie Campground (walk-up sites, free November to March). Day two, parallel the river two miles to the intimate, 18-grave Adair family plot, then two more to half-acre Brown cemetery, where a family of children rests. Follow the river 1.9 miles to your car at Ozark. (870-439-2502, Trip ID 1901789

The way Shuttle: From Fayetteville, link AR 45, US 412, AR 21, AR 43, AR 74, AR 7, and CR 129 to Ozark. Trailhead: Backtrack 10 miles to AR 74 to Kyles Landing Rd.

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