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Mena, AR: Buckeye Mountain To Caney Creek Loop

Slicing through the southwest reaches of Arkansas’ picturesque ridge country, this 10-mile loop climbs to Buckeye Mountain before tracing the meandering Caney Creek.

Rating

From the east Caney Creek trailhead, fill up water bottles at Blaylock Creek (the only water source until Katy Falls at mile 5.6) and head north on the trail paralleling Forest Road 42. At mile 1.1, pick up the Buckeye Trail and head west toward Buckeye Mountain (2,254 feet), the route’s highest point. Enjoy far-ranging panoramas of the tree-topped countryside from Buckeye’s summit before heading west along the ridgeline connecting to East Hanna Mountain. You’ll snag various hilltop vistas before the route bends south and dips downhill at mile 4.6.
Fill up on water at the tranquil Katy Falls, which owes its lucid appearance to minerals in the Arkansas Novaculite rock abundant in the area. Immediately following the falls, you’ll hit the junction with the Caney Creek Trail. Turning right brings you to campsites (0.1 mile west), while the left fork traces Caney Creek back to the parking lot you started from (3.9 miles). Heading east on the hike’s home stretch, you’ll pass another campsite and numerous creek crossings, some of which may prove to be wet when water levels are high. The hike ends with a quick crossing of Blaylock Creek before breaking out of the Buckeye Wilderness and into the parking area.
-Mapped by Tommy Smith

To Trailhead

From Mena, follow AR 375 southeast for 11.7 miles and continue onto County Rd. 64/ Forest Road 42. After 4.6 miles, bear right to stay on County Rd. 64/ Forest Road 42 and follow for 4.9 miles. Parking and trailhead are on right.

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