Hiking Arkansas: Alum Cove Trail

Alum Cove trail is a one mile loop that features a 130 foot natural bridge, a cave, shelter bluffs, stream, and a seasonal waterfall.

We took a picture of the trailhead map and signage to help us find our way.

how to get to alum cove

This recreation area is managed by the National Forest Service. From Jasper, Arkansas take highway 7 south for 15 miles, then turn right (west) on Arkansas 16 and go 1 mile. Turn right (northwest) on Forest Service Road 1206 and go 3 miles. (online brochure).

Tip: The scenic road is curvy, so plan ahead for any family members who are prone to car sickness.

open durnig covid-19

There are a lot of trails and recreation areas that are closed in Arkansas to cut down on the spread of COVID-19. As I’m writing today (April 22, 2020), Alum Cove remains open for hiking. Some amenities are probably not open such as restroom facilities. A good place to get updated information is the US Forest Service’s facebook page.

Alum Cove Recreation Area
Alum Cove Recreation Area has shaded picnic areas.
The woods in Arkansas are beautiful this spring.
Alum Cove Natural Bridge
Walking over the natural bridge. There is a fence, but since there is a big drop off it’s a good place to hold on to little one’s hands.
Alum Cove Natural Bridge
Views over the side of the bridge.
Alum Cove Natural Bridge
A trail leads underneath the bridge.
alum cove natural bridge
Water trickling down the rock walls.
Alum Cove Natural Bridge
Rocky overhang of Alum Cove Natural Bridge.
Alum Cove Recreational Area. Arkansas National Forest
We passed over a small stream (after we splashed in it a little).
Alum Cove. Arkansas National Forest Service
Tip: Pack fun snacks to encourage kids to walk on their own (especially uphill). Our 5-year-old can hike on her own, while our 3-year-old is still wanting to be carried a lot. There was a bench right after this uphill portion of the trail.
Cave Arkansas. Alum Cove.
Soon, we found a cave.
Cave on loop trail. Alum Cove.
Caves = childhood wonder + imagination explosion
Seasonal waterfall. Alum Cove.
Past the cave, there is a seasonal waterfall.
Cave and shelter bluffs at Alum Cove. Colorado. National Forest Area.
We had fun exploring the caves and shelter bluffs. We had so much fun exploring, that we got turned around and walked down a side trail. Oops!
Alum Cove.
Once we made our way back to the main trail, we noticed that we should have started down this steep rock staircase.
Alum Cove.
and back up to the natural bridge.
Alum Cove.
Blue skies above us.

We hiked this on our 8th wedding anniversary. It was a wonderful way to spend the afternoon as a family.

Kid-approved? Yes. Our girls have been lucky to go on a lot of trails in Colorado and Arkansas, and they said this one was one of their all time favorite hikes.


2 thoughts on “Hiking Arkansas: Alum Cove Trail”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: