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Rock Creek Loop, Ozark National Forest, bushwhack and social trail, 5.1 mi, difficult, Mike McKinnon, Hike Leader


Day, Date:  Saturday, March 14, 2020

Name of Hike: Rock Creek Loop

Location: Ozark National Forest, 6.5 miles N of AR Hwy 123 at Big Piney/Fort Douglas AR (near Hurricane Wilderness) and south of Deer AR

Type of Hike: Dayhike, bushwhack (non-trail) with a small amount of primitive trail (ATV road)

Hike Distance: 5.1 miles

Total Elevation Gain/Loss: 500 feet (from lowest elevation to highest point in hike)

Rating: Difficult due to scrambling, possible wet crossings, undergrowth, and absence of trail.

Features: This hike will visit several blufflines in the Rock Creek watershed to see interesting rock formations, waterfalls, grottos, caves, bear cracks, rock pedestals, and bluff shelters. Among the waterfalls are Rock Creek Bluff Falls (47’), Suzy Tail Falls, Slot Canyon Falls, and Johnny Trail Falls (time permitting). For more info see Tim Ernst (Arkansas Waterfalls , 2d Ed., 178-181).

Hike Leader: Mike McKinnon (contact hike leader for info)

Telephone & Email: 479-806-2652, mikemckinnon1@gmail.com

Meeting Place and Time:

  • Meet at Root School on 1529 E Mission Blvd in Fayetteville for carpooling for a 7:45 a.m. departure; or,
  • Meet at 8: 25a.m. for a quick-stop at the gas station/store in Marble AR; or,
  • Meet at the gas station/store in Deer AR at 9:45 a.m.


Driving Distance: One-way driving distance from the Fayetteville carpool to the gas station/store in Deer AR is 76 miles via AR Hwy 45/US Hwy 412/AR Hwys 21-16. It is another 12 miles on dirt road to Big Piney Creek Road via Parker Ridge Road, and another 1 mile to the trailhead at Rock Creek. High clearance vehicles with 4WD or AWD are recommended.

Comments: Bring water, lunch, rain gear, gloves and wear hiking boots. Bushwhacks are non-trail hikes which are more challenging than trail hikes. If you have never done a bushwhack hike, contact the hike leader first to find out about the challenges of the hike. No pets are allowed on any hikes, and children under 12 years are not allowed on difficult hikes.

Liability Release:  Participants are required to sign a “liability release” http://www.ozarksociety.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/OS-Sign-Up_Sheet_rev4.pdf at the trailhead to take part in any Ozark Society outing. Everyone is welcome to hike with the OSHC, whether an Ozark Society member or not.

Links to Pictures of Recent OSHC Hikes can be seen on the Ozark Society Website at www.ozarksociety.net Go to Chapters & Activities/Highlands Chapter and look for Frank Millett’s and Luke Parsch’s Flickr websites links.

List of Hikes:
January 1 – 16th Annual New Year’s Day hike at Lake Fayetteville, led by Molly Saxon
January 4th – Lake Sequoia hike, led by Eunice and Frank Millet
January 11th – Waterfall Hike starting at Cherry Bend Trailhead, led by JB Clark
January 18th – “Round Rocks” hike in Upper Buffalo Wilderness, led by Terry Fredrick
January 25th – Bowers Hollow in the Upper Buffalo Wilderness, led by Terry Fredrick
February 1st – Leatherwood Creek at the Buffalo National River
February 8th – Brenda Brown led her birthday hike to Spirits Creek and beyond
February 8th – Pulaski Chapter hike, carpool organized by Luke Parsch to Blue Hole, an area of concern
February 15th – Estep and Accord Falls, Ozark National Forest led by JB Clark
Saturday, February 22, 2020 – Norma Senyard, Sandstone Castles and Twin Falls of the Richland Creek
Saturday, February 29, 2020 – Indian Creek area of the Mulberry River, Tom McClure
Saturday, March 7, 2020 – Family Friendly hike led by Shari Withey
Saturday, March 7, 2020 – BRT/OHT: Spring Creek Road to Dillard’s Ferry, Luke Parsch
Saturday, March 14, 2020 – Rock Creek, Ozark National Forest, Mike McKinnon
Saturday, March 21, 2020 – Indian Creek, Terry Fredrick
Saturday, March 28, 2020 – Buffalo River Classic, Withrow Springs State Park
Saturday, April 4, 2020 – Smith Creek Preserve, Steve Singleton
Saturday, April 11, 2020 –
Saturday, April 18, 2020 – White Rock to see Silver Bells, Fred Paillet
Saturday, April 25, 2020 – Spring Meeting
Saturday, May 2, 2020 –