VIDEO: High altitude hike

Posted: February 16, 2016 at 1 a.m.

Views of the Buffalo National River unfold for hikers on the Goat Trail. The hike begins at the Centerpoint trail access near Ponca and visits Big Bluff where the panorama of the river is seen. The route is three miles out to the bluff then three miles back to the trail access. Karen Mowry of Nob Hill, east of Springdale, admires the view during a hike.

Being sure of foot like a mountain goat comes in handy for taking one of the truly spectacular hikes in the Ozarks.

Hikers Karen Mowry (from left) Tom Mowry and Gene Williams look at a trail map before starting a Goat Trail hike.

The Goat Trail hugs a bluff wall through a cedar forest before the path leads to views of the Buffalo River. Tom Mowry of Nob Hill, east of Springdale...

Hikers step carefully along a narrow section of the Goat Trail high above the Buffalo River.

Goat Trail, Big Bluff

The Goat Trail gets its name from feral goats that were sometimes seen on Big Bluff. It’s unlikely hikers will see feral goats today, but some do roam in the Buffalo National River park.

It’s about 60 to 90 minutes of hiking from the Centerpoint trail access to Big Bluff. Allow more time for the hike out, plus ample time to enjoy the scenery out on the bluff.

Directions: From Ponca, go north on Arkansas 43 about three miles. Centerpoint trail access is on the right.

— Buffalo National River

Parts of the trail to Big Bluff are on loose rock that is wet is places. Footing was unsteady in spots during a hike.

Taking the Goat Trail hike in winter reveals views of the Buffalo River countryside that are hidden by foliage during warm months. This scene is near ...

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