Hiking in Arkansas in Midlife – Hawksbill Crag – Whitaker Point

Hawksbill crag standing upHiking in Arkansas in Midlife – Hawksbill Crag – Whitaker Point 

During the fall months, there is no better place to hike in Arkansas than a quintessential spot in Northwest Arkansas: Whitaker Point – Hawksbill Crag.

Actually, this spot is breathtaking anytime of the year, but when the foliage is changing, the views are fantastic. 

As Arkansas hiking spots go, Hawksbill is one of the more popular. During Autumn is the best time to see it. Last October, I took off for the popular spot outside of Ponca in Newton County and it lived up to the hype. 

There are so many beautiful hikes and scenic views in Newton County that are worth seeing, but Hawksbill is definitely one of the best.  

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How to Get There

To reach the trail, take a reliable vehicle that can take a gravel road with a steep incline.

  • From Ponca, Arkansas, take 43 South to Highway 21 and take a left.
  • After about two miles, the Boxley Bridge will cross the Buffalo River and there will be a gravel road to the right.
  • The beginning of this road is quite steep, but after six miles there is parking at the trailhead, about a quarter mile past a church and cemetery on the right.
  • Park along the road and walk to the trailhead if the parking is full, just make certain not to block any other roads or driveways.

Hawksbill crag whitaker pointThe trail itself is about 3 miles out-and-back. It is rated as moderate according to All Trails, but is manageable by any skill level hiker. Coming out of the trail is uphill, but after a break at the crag, hiking out should not be too tough. Always pack out water and a trail snack. 


Be Patient to Enjoy Hawksbill Crag

This hike is quite popular, so be prepared for patience should you want the iconic photo on the crag! Most people who visit Hawksbill are respectful of that and will even help with photos of you and your hiking companions. Don’t forget to pay it forward and return the favor. 

ponca elkHawksbill Crag is awe-inspiring, so add this to your Autumn list of things to do in Arkansas. While in the area, you might even spot the elk along the Buffalo River in Ponca. 


hawksbill pinHiking in Arkansas in Midlife – Hawksbill Crag-Whitaker Point

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