A MUST When Hiking Arkansas – Hawksbill Crag (Whitaker Point)
May 19, 2017
This post contains affiliate links. Full disclosure here. If you tuned in last post, you know we’re enjoying the full-time RV life. It puts us close to some great trails and where we’ve landed puts us even closer to one of my favorite spots in Arkansas – Newton County and home to Jasper. It’s also home to Ponca, and a must when hiking Arkansas – Hawksbill Crag. With my birthday coming next week I wanted to get to somewhere I could just take in nature and appreciate my life a bit. Being outside makes me happy. Hawksbill Crag, also known as Whitaker Point, didn’t disappoint. I’d been wanting to hike it since we moved to Arkansas…hiking arkansas hawksbill crag
Hiking Arkansas Hawksbill Crag
You can find directions and information on the Buffalo Outdoor Center website. Just a note some websites call Hawksbill Crag by another name; Whitaker Point Trail. I’ve actually never met anyone who refers to it that way, but just in case you look up the information, the trail (Whitaker Point) gets you to the overlook (Hawsbill Crag).
Hiking Arkansas Hawksbill Crag – When to Go
I’d recommend this hike summer, spring and fall. I don’t know about winter. If it ices over, given all the ledges and drops it could be a bit dangerous. It is a LONG way down. If you do venture out in winter I’d say do so if you wear proper hiking bootsand leave the kiddos at home (for men’s hiking boots, hubs wears these). Ninety percent of it is well-shaded, so you don’t have to worry about getting very hot. We went on a Thursday and there was a good amount of cars parked at the trail head. I’d definitely stick to a weekday if you can. There will be people lined up to get out on the ledge to take photos and I imagine it’s a longer wait on the weekends.
Hiking Arkansas Hawksbill Crag – What to bring
We had Bella with us and even though we brought her travel bowl and water for her, she didn’t need it. There were several crossing points over the creek that she hopped around in and drank from (note: bring it anyway in case the creek dries up). We brought bottles of water for ourselves, some trail mix and beef jerky. I probably should have had more water, but I really didn’t need as much as we brought. The jerky and trail mix came out once we were in the truck. Don’t forget: bug spray, sunblock and your camera! I carried my camera backpack.
Hiking Arkansas Hawksbill Crag – What to expect
Driving up will take a little while. Only though it’s a handful of miles from the main road, the road up to the trail head is dirt, making it a bit rough and bumpy, so you have to go really slow. Once you arrive at the trail, it is marked really well, so it is highly unlikely you’d get lost. The terrain is rough in the sense that this isn’t a paved trail. It’s dirt, a lot of rocks and tree limbs. You’ll want to watch your footing. Also, familiarize yourself with poison ivy and what it looks like. We saw a lot of it. Going out to the crag there really isn’t much of an incline. We saw some people stopped along the way, but I’d rate this hike as pretty easy on the way out there. On the way back there is more of an incline, but it isn’t horrible. The last 1/4 mile hiking back out to the trail head was the steepest. I’d say pace yourself if you’re not an experienced hiker.
Hiking Arkansas Hawksbill Crag – “The Ledge”
The crag itself is much wider than it appears in photos, BUT that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be careful. Stay away from the edge and don’t try to do party tricks up there. There is no need to do handstands or cartwheels. If you do bring the kids, make sure you have a good handle on them. Same with your fur kids – keep them on the leash at all times. Travel + Leisure calls it the most romantic spot in Arkansas, so if you’re with your significant other, sneak a kiss, take some photos and let the next folks take their turn. There are a lot of places to sit and take in the views, so you can always go back out to the ledge if you want to stick around longer.
Hiking Arkansas Hawksbill Crag
I admit, I am totally biased. If it’s in Newton County, I’m probably going to love it. BUT I think it’s safe to write, that you’ll love Hawksbill Crag, too. It was a great way to spend my last Thursday as a 40-year old and I can’t wait to get back here in the Fall.