by Janie & Wyatt Jones (Falcon Guides)
© 2004 Janie & Wyatt Jones/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.
War Eagle Trail is one of the less strenuous hikes in the Arkansas Ozarks. Beginning near the picnic area in Withrow Springs State Park the trail follows bluffs through an oak /hickory hardwood forest. Later it descends and follow the creek through a cane bake. CAUTION: there are Water Moccasins in these brakes. Carry a hiking staff (good idea anyway) and probe places where you can't see before putting you hand or foot in. Moccasins are one of the few aggressive snakes in North America. In summer the creek is usually low and can be forded in many places. There is excellent Small Mouth Bass fishing in the late spring and autumn. When the weather is very hot or cold the fish lie up in the deeper holes.
In Autumn the foliage on the bluffs and down in the valley is spectacular. For bird watchers there are many diverse species; with large numbers of migrants in the fall and spring. In winter Bald Eagles can be seen soaring along the creek. They nest to the north on Beaver Lake.
The water is crystal clear in the creek and a group of springs WNW of the state park. DON'T drink without treating! You'll get "Beaver Fever" (Giardia). Very nasty! R- easy-moderate.
This is a great little leg-stretcher with surprising rewards. The small cave is an incredibly beautiful room with many large nooks, and the whole cave is not really small, but cozy. The river is great here, too. It's an awesome trail along the river. Often the ledge is hanging above the river, steep enough to be a bit unnerving, but not especially dangerous unless it's slick. And near stream level just beyound the entrance to the cave is a good-sized spring flowing from an interesting crevice. This is only one of many distinct springs in the area. Nearby is a neat little state park alongside a stream fed by a spring flowing from deep inside a cave. Madison County Wildlife Management Area is just up the road and it is a fascinating place. I highly suggest it for camping unless you are there during hunting season, in which case every site will be taken. There are several very unique waterfalls, countless great shelters and springs and camping places like I've never seen. The state park is not as great for camping, as all the sites line up on either side of the road.
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