White Rock Trails & Recreation
The Ozark National Forest… a choose your own adventure destination. From hiking and climbing to white water kayaking each season has something to offer everyone.
White Rock Mountain is the hub of several trail systems offering hundreds of miles of trails to explore. There is ample parking for day and overnight treks, the overnight fee is $5 per vehicle, be sure to register at the White Rock Office (brown & white building). PLEASE NOTE: We do not offer shuttles or rides at this time, please plan your trip accordingly.
- White Rock Rim Trail: This easy 1.8 mile loop circles the mountain and offers 365 degree views of the Ozark National Forest. Be sure to see the sunsets and sunrises!
- White Rock West Trail: Part of the WR/SL Loop, the west trail is a moderate hike that features multiple falls (mostly seasonal), several creek crossings, and beautiful bluffs.
- White Rock/Shores Lake Loop Trail: This trail connects White Rock to Shores Lake. It is a moderate to difficult 17.5 mile trail that offers beautiful scenery and waterfalls when in season. HINT: Hike the Loop Trail clockwise.
- The Ozark Highlands Trail: Rated one of the most scenic hiking trails in the nation, this trail is easily accessed from White Rock. The OHT begins in Fort Smith Arkansas and traverses 196 miles throughout the Ozark National Forest. Plan your reprieve at White Rock!
Off Site Trails:
- Devil’s Canyon: A not to miss valley located in Fern, AR. Approximately 20 minute drive South of White Rock. Climb through house sized boulders, explore a crystal clear creek and two waterfalls, beautiful fall and spring foliage. Recommended to hike late September through mid May, advanced hikers. Not a strenuous hike but tumbled rocky trails and potential wildlife pose dangers. Click HERE for directions.
- Fern Gully: One of Arkansas premier rock climbing/bouldering sites, Fern Gully is as magical as its name! Located in Fern, AR its an approximately 20 minute drive South of White Rock. A moderate hike in from the Hwy, tumbled and rocky trails, potential wildlife dangers. Not to miss site, you’ll feel like you are in a fairy tale! Click HERE for directions.
- High Bank Twin Falls: A lovely and easily accessed waterfall that’s a perfect adventure for the littles and bigs! Approximately 45 minute drive through the beautiful forest. This 0.4 mile trail has no elevation, best waterfall flow from mid October – early June. Click HERE for directions.
Gear up for extreme whitewater, toss a line, or take the kids creek wading; White Rock Mountain is surrounded by water large and small.
- Shores Lake: Just a few miles down the road, the picturesque Shores Lake Recreation area offers fishing, swimming, and non-motorized boating. There is also a pavilion to reserve for family gatherings.
- Mulberry River: From its beginnings deep in the Ozarks to its confluence with the Arkansas River, the Mulberry pours over ledges, shoots through willow thickets, and whips around sharp turns. The stream is definitely one of the state’s wildest rivers during the early spring. Thankfully, the Mulberry varies season to season. During the summer months the river takes on a completely different personality, plan relaxing family floats in June – September. Canoes, Kayaks, and shuttles are available at Turner Bend Outfitter.
Biking:White Rock Mountain is surrounded by miles of scenic National Forest roads and rugged multi-use trails. The National Forest gravel roads wind over and through the Arkansas Ozark Mountains providing breathtaking views of mountain creeks, printing landscapes, and scenic overlooks. Several miles of rugged multi-use trails can also be easily accessed by those looking for a challenging off-road adventure through deeper regions of the Ozark National Forest.
White Rock Mountain offers its guests the ultimate ATV getaway. Bring your ATV or OHV and enjoy a multitude of National Forest ATV trails. (ATV/OHV use is not permitted within White Rock park. Any guest that brings OHV’s must keep them on the trailer and must trailer them to approved OHV trail heads for use.)
- Mill Creek Trails: The Mill Creek OHV trail leads the rider through remote areas of the Ozark National Forest and features diverse terrain, lush upland hardwood forest, unique rock outcrops, mountain creeks, and more. The main trail and inside loops are connected to accommodate riders who want to vary the length of their trips.
- Other Forest Trails: There are countless miles of additional nearby National Forest ATV trails. ATV riding in Arkansas can be both relaxing and exciting but must be done so with extreme care and with adherence to all Ozark National Forest rules and regulations. The Ozark National Forest ATV trails are accessible to a variety of Off Highway Vehicles including 4 wheelers, side by sides and other 4×4’s. Please respect the Ozark National Forest and the privilege of operating ATV’s on its designated trails so we can enjoy them for years to come.
White Rock Mountain may be in the middle of “nowhere” but we are surrounded by a myriad of unique cultural Arkansas treasures! Take a drive to local wineries, art and cultural centers, historic cafes, the roads getting there are half the fun…
- Diners, Wineries, Delis, & Dives: From the finest fried catfish to Swiss delicacies, our local Ozark Mountain restaurants offer a unique culinary treat for even the most discerning palate.
- “Combs General Store” in Combs. (35 min) One of our favorites. Stop in on a Friday night for INCREDIBLE Ozark Mountain music and snag a much coveted PILE of the BEST fried catfish in Arkansas… we can’t WAIT for Fridays! The locals all gather and dance and visit, kids and dogs are running around, it’s just the best! Open 7 days a week with a great breakfast and burger too.
- “The Snack Shack” in St. Paul. (40 min) Kick back on the down-home front porch, chat with the locals, watch the world go by and enjoy fantastic burgers, sandwiches, and local fare. You’ll spend hours here enjoying the atmosphere and excellent food!
- “Oark General Store” in Oark. (1 hour) Oark Cafe is the oldest gas station/general store in the state. Visiting Oark is like being transported back in time to the early 1900’s! Watch out for dogs sunning in the highway, kids riding horses down the road, and enjoy spectacular scenery on the way there. The restaurant features homemade pies, incredible burgers, fried catfish, and so much more! Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to get there, the Cafe closes at 6pm and can be busy on a pretty day.
- “Turner Bend Outfitter” in Cass. (35 min) If you are out seeing the sites or floating the river, need a quick bite to eat or some of the basics, stop in and grab one of their “Almost Famous Sandwiches”! Kick back on the front porch with the locals, listen to yarns & tall tales, and the “Mayor of Cass” Jackie Patrick is always a hoot!
“Wiederkehr Weinkeller Restaurant” in Altus (1+ hour). A true Arkansas fine dining treasure, you don’t want to miss the excellent Swiss and European cuisine. The restaurant is located in the original Wiederkehr wine cellar and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The atmosphere is dark and rich and features hand hewed timers and tables lit by candle light. Try the fondu!, the onion soup is out of this world, the steaks are hard to beat, and my personal favorite is their schnitzel and fries. The wines are incredible too!
- “Post Familie Vineyards” in Altus (1+ hour). Visit the beautiful tasting room at Post for incredible Arkansas muscadine wines and enjoy Cordon Bleu trained Chef, Terese Post’s incredible lunches that feature locally grown organic produce and farm raised beef and poultry. This is also an Arkansas “must visit”!
- Arkansas Culture: You may have heard about a new place called Crystal Bridges (it’s not to be missed!), but be sure to check out two of our local arts treasures “Ozark Folkways” and “Terra Studios”. From the “lost arts” of weaving and pottery to the soul rending folk/bluegrass music of the Ozark Mountains, you can’t help but be inspired!
- “Ozark Folkways” in Winslow (45 min). Travel the winding gravel roads through the Ozark Mountains and go back in time. Ozark Folkways is where the art of today meets the craft traditions of generations past; and music, food, fun and family reach across generations to bring people together. Check their schedule of events for a unique cooking class or music celebration, get hands on instruction during a fun workshop, there is so much going on at Folkways!
- “Terra Studios” in Duram (45 min). Another !not to miss! scenic drive and incredible art hub, Terra Studios is the home of the “Bluebird of Happiness”! Admission is FREE. Tour the beautiful grounds, watch the birds being created by expert glass blowers, and experience a mirage of art instillations and beautiful handcrafts. The on-site Cafe offers light savories, sandwiches, quiche, and the fantasy environment is a treat in of itself! The kids will LOVE the visit!
White Rock Mountain
- CALL HOURS: 9am-7pm
- OFFICE / GENERAL STORE HOURS:
- PARK HOURS: Sunrise to Sunset
White Rock Mountain Recreation Area
- Boston Mountain Ranger District
- Ozark National Forest
- Operated by White Rock Recreation Management