Ozark Highlands Trail: Lake Fort Smith to Dockerys Gap
ElevationAscent: 1,102' 336 m
Descent: -523' -159 m
High: 1,557' 475 m
Low: 904' 276 m
GradeAvg Grade: 3% (2°)
Max Grade: 18% (10°)
Current trail conditions
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“This is a nice section of the of the Ozark Highlands Trail.”— Missouri Hiker
The trail bends back west it briefly parallels Shepard Spring Road before crossing Frog Bayou, a water crossing that can be impassable following rain. After the crossing, the trail turns back east and southeast as it continues to follow the lakeshore. Just before reaching Jack Creek (about mile five) the trail turns east and follows the creek as it climbs out of the valley. The trail crosses several tributaries of Jack Creek, then crosses Jack Creek around mile eight, just before a steep climb out of the valley up to Dockerys Gap and Old Lock Rd.
Consider the season for the timing of your hike. Notably, the trail is not maintained between May-Aug. Summer hikers can expect increased heat, humidity, dense vegetation, and snakes/insects. Maintenance begins in September and continues into November. Many hikers will wait until leaves drop for hiking in Arkansas.
Land Manager: USFS - Ozark-St. Francis National Forests Office