One of my favorite trails in Arkansas is the Lost Valley Trail. Having so much to offer, it’s a trail that I could return to again and again, discovering new elements, new highlights each time.
Rated by Alltrails.com as one of the best trails in Arkansas, the Lost Valley Trail is a two mile, down and back hike. It really has something for everyone: beautiful trees, caves, waterfalls, a natural bridge, interesting rocks, and flowers. In fact, in order to do it justice, this blog will focus on the trek to Eden Falls.
Our first visit to Lost Valley was in the spring of 2012. We had experienced drier than usual weather that spring, but the trail did start out extremely promising and very lush, an invitation to paradise in Arkansas!
Merely steps from the start of the trail are the jigsaw rocks. These boulders actually look like huge puzzle pieces, and that, if some fairy tale giant was available and willing, he may be able to lock them together.
One thing I have learned since hiking here is that geologists believe that this area was once all underground. It’s mind boggling to imagine that, the natural bridge, the next stop on the trail, was once part of an enormous cave system that had been whittled away for millions of years!
We enjoyed exploring this area, and, although there are benches on the trail, I decided to stop and look at things from a different perspective.
It is thought that this area, known as Cobb Cave, was once inhabited by Native Americans, probably the Osage. It was named by a geology team from the University of Arkansas. While exploring, they found corn cobbs in this area.
Of course, possibly the most popular feature of the trail is Eden Falls. Due to the lack of rain, barely a trickle was flowing. The area, however, was still breathtaking.
The great thing about Lost Valley is that it won’t disappoint, in spite of the lack of water. And besides, there’s no law against making a return trip!
To get to Lost Valley from Ponca, go south on Hwy 43 about 1.5 miles to the paved turnoff on the right, which is marked with a sign. Meander back about 1/2 a mile to the trailhead parking area.