Self Guided Adventures
Eureka Springs Trails
When you are in Eureka Springs, you are never far from nature. Outdoor adventures are waiting for you…just outside your door. Here are a few easy hikes to get you started. Try an early morning hike…it is a great way to get to know Eureka Springs but Ozark Mountain weather makes hiking anytime during the day enjoyable.
Eureka “Springs” & Downtown Trails
Eureka Springs has numerous natural springs that are protected for public enjoyment. Each one is unique and holds a name that provides clues to their historic use. Today, many of the springs are surrounded by pocket parks. Take a walk around town. Below is a suggested path to discover a few of the best known springs. It can be a strenuous climb so wear good walking shoes. Many visitors collect photos of the springs during different seasons (the pocket parks are just as beautiful at Christmas as in the Spring!) so don’t forget your camera.
Suggested Springs to Visit:
1. Sweet Spring-discover Sweet Spring then walk up the stairs above the spring near the corner of Pine Street and follow the trail which takes you along the bluff overlooking Harding Spring.
2. Harding Spring-at the corner of Howell Street and Spring Street.
3. Crescent Spring- found near the Carnegie Public Library on Spring Street. Grotto Spring is also on this road heading toward the Writer’s Colony.
4. Little Eureka Spring-turn near the Grand Central Hotel and follow Flint then turn Right on Steel Street. You will pass Onyx Cave (on Steel Street) and Cave Spring (on Douglas Street).
5. Gadd Spring-inside the store at 104 North Main Street.
6. Magnetic Spring-on Magnetic Road between Main Street and Passion Play Road.
7. Leatherwood Creek-runs the length of Main Street.
8. Calif Spring-next to the Historical Museum on Main Street.
9. Basin Spring Bath House Bridge-just across from Basin Spring Park spans over Main Street. Near here is the Basin Spring (in Basin Spring Park and Basin Spring Bluff Shelter-above the band shelter in Basin Spring Park and Rock House Cave. Learn more about the movement to “Free the Basin” or Read more about Basin Spring history and the park that surrounds it.
Lake Leatherwood is a 1600-acre municipal park with an 85 acre spring fed lake. There are 3 major trails at Lake Leatherwood, located just a few miles West of downtown Eureka Springs off of U.S. Highway 62. Leatherwood is on the National Register of Historic Places. The dam, one of the largest hand hewn native limestone dams in the country forms the lake and is just one of the features on this site of the Works Progress Administration project from the early 1940’s. Many other historic features are still visible here.The woodlands surrounding the lake support many species of wildlife including a diverse population of waterfowl and other birds like heron, geese, bald eagles, and wild turkey. Lake Leatherwood is a great place for hiking but also for biking, fishing, swimming, and picnicking. Get Your Lake Leatherwood Trail Map. Get Directions to Lake Leatherwood. Discover more photos of Lake Leatherwood Trails.
Trail #1- Miner’s Trail
This is the newest trail at Lake Leatherwood. Moderately sloped, the trail takes you to Miner’s Rock, a stratified stone with a hole large enough you will want to crawl up into it. You will pass some sinkholes on the North side of the trail. Miner’s Trail is easy and is 1.3 miles long.
Trail #2- Beacham Trail
Follow the edge of the water and see great views of Leatherwood Lake on this trail, named after former Arkansas Parks and Recreation Commissioner Steve Beacham. After crossing over the dam, the trail curves back across the flat rock where rock for the dam was taken and hewn. If you watch closely, you will catch a glimpse of some of the equipment used by the WPA workers to build the dam. This trail crosses over Leatherwood Dam. Certain times of the year, water runs over the dam. Beacham trail travels completely around the lake, is easy and 3.8 miles long.
Trail #3- Fuller Trail
Parallel to Beacham Trail is Fuller trail which follows the road to the marina traveling closer to the lake. This trail is named for old time Eureka Springs banker, Claude Fuller.
Black Bass Lake was created as a fire protection and drinking water reservoir from the abundant, pure springs in the upper reaches of Old Spring Gulch, including Sycamore, Standing Rock, and Arsenic Springs. The earthen and cut stone dam dates to 1894 and is one of the oldest still standing in the Ozarks. The city now receives water from Beaver Lake via the Carroll Boone Water District, but water is still pumped to a 100′ tall water tower on Hwy 62, as it has been for over a century. Get Your Black Bass Lake Trail Map. Get Detailed Directions to Black Bass Lake. Discover more photos of Black Bass Lake & Trails. Directions: Follow U.S. Highway 62 west right past the Best Western Inn of the Ozarks. Turn left on Oil Springs Road and follow the road down to the dam and parking area.
Trail #1- Standing Rock Trail
Standing Rock Trail is built upon a former pump house road bed, this trail begins just past the dam spillway and before the non-motorized boat ramp. It passes by Standing Rock and leads to a small picnic area and the two wooden bridges crossing both the wet weather creek, and the headwaters of West Leatherwood Creek. The trail is mostly level, wide, and a multi-use trail.
Trail #2- Bluff Trail
Bluff Trail spurs off from and runs above Sycamore Spring Trail. This rugged trail hugs the St. Joe limestone outcropping that rims the valley. The trail is steep at beginning and end, but mostly level, though narrow and rocky. This trail, featuring great views of the lake and valley, is favored by local mountain bike riders.
Trail #3- Sycamore Spring Trail
Sycamore Spring Trail begins on the opposite side of the dam and runs along the shoreline of the lake, crossing Sycamore Spring and heads to the wooden bridge crossing the head waters of West Leatherwood Creek. Abundant wildflowers line this trail in spring and summer. The trail is narrow, level for the most part, and follows an old fishing path.