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Mena, AR: Buckeye – Caney Creek Loop

This 9.9-mile loop has it all: pine forests, hardwood forests, and beautiful views from hillside vistas.

Rating

Start at the East Caney Creek trailhead and head north on CR64 for 1.1 miles and 500 feet uphill to the Buckeye trailhead. There isnt any water on the first half of this loop so stock up at the Blaylock creek next to the Caney Creek trailhead before heading out.

The Buckeye trail is mostly on the ridge of Buckeye Mountain. The trail isn’t marked. It begins at a small parking area off of CR64 and stays level for about .4 mile then begins to climb. At 1.7 miles there is a standing rock made of novaculite which is a good spot to take a break or eat some lunch if you are getting a late start like we did. Shortly after this area the trail is very hard to follow since there are many “false” trails going every way imageinable. Stay on the trail that ascends.

At about mile 2.1 you will reach the top of Buckeye Mountain which is the tallest point on this hike. The next 2.5 miles are on the ridge line of Buckeye Mountain headed toward East Hannah Mountain. At 4.6 miles the trail starts dropping toward the Caney Creek Valley to Katy Falls which is one mile away at the 5.6 mile mark. There are many downed trees along the trail toward the Caney Creek so be prepared to move over or around them.

At mile 5.8 you reach the junction of Caney Creek Trail and the Buckeye. This trail isn’t marked either but is very easy to follow. We travelled back up the Caney Creek Trail to the right for .1 mile to the spur (marked with a crude cairn) leading off to the left toward a well-developed campsite (there arent any officially designated campsites along the loop but pleny of developed ones similar to the one we camped at). There was plenty of water right next to the campsite from the Caney Creek so we filled up here for the night and made some supper.

The next morning we headed east back up to the Caney Creek/Buckeye junction. After the junction you drop into the Caney Creek then a slight uphill into a nice flat stretch through the woods. This area is posted as no camping. RIght around mile 5.9 there is a well developed camp site on the south side of the trail. Luckily we stayed at the earlier camp site since there were lots of campers here already.

At mile 6.6 the trail crosses to the south side of Caney Creek. The creek was low due to drought like conditions they’ve been having this year, but there was still quite a bit of running water to fill up our water containers with. The trail picks up again across the stream and up stream a bit.

At the 9.6 mark the trail crosses Blaylock Creek and then ends at the CR64 parking lot.

-Mapped by Tommy Smith

To Trailhead

Drive southeast on AR 375 for 11.7 miles, then continue onto CR 64. In 4.6 miles, bear right to stay on CR 64. In 2.6 miles, bear right to stay on County Road 64. Go 2.4 miles to clearly marked trailhead.

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