Hiker at DeGray Lake Resort State Park

DeGray Lake Resort State Park in Bismarck

For those who enjoy the outdoors, Arkansas has some of the best backpacking trails around. Take a trail through the mountains or a valley, across streams and lakes and enjoy incredible experiences and views all around the state. You’ll find countless blissful miles of Arkansas backpacking trails in state parks, wilderness areas and national forests in every area of the state. Hiking trail descriptions below provide you with the region of the state, contact information, trailhead location, length, travel time and difficulty of each of our backpacking trails, and descriptions of the hikes. Whether you are an advanced backpacker or new to the sport, you'll enjoy the amazing adventure of Arkansas backpacking! Depending on the trail, backpacking-specific training isn’t always required, and it’s a family-friendly activity that many kids will love.


You can venture into the woods for a night or a week with trails that range from less than 10 miles long to more than 200 miles. If you’re looking for a long haul, Arkansas is home to two nationally-recognized long-distance backpacking trails. The Ouachita National Recreational Trail stretches 192 miles west to east across the rugged Ouachita Mountain range and is known for its solitude. Farther north, the Ozark Highlands Trail passes through the Ozark Mountains on its grand 218-mile journey from Lake Fort Smith State Park east to the Buffalo National River area — some of the most treasured lands in the state.

Ready to plan your hike? Explore our searchable database of Arkansas’s best backpacking trails below. These Arkansas backpacking trails offer some of the best chances to experience The Natural State’s beauty – and immerse yourself in it overnight. Grab your backpack, plan your hiking route and prepare to visit Arkansas for miles of outdoor adventure! You’ll see what makes this one of the most popular outdoor activities in Arkansas and come back from the trail with a few stories.

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