There's just something about hitting the trails that clears your mind, lifts your spirits, and warms your heart. It helps you transcend your troubles. And whether you're a stroller, a hiker, or a runner, Mountain View has a trail for you.
Best Short hike
If you want to keep it short, head to Mirror Lake. This hike is a 1.3-mile lightly trafficked loop that's perfect if you're hiking with kiddos. The trail follows the banks of Mirror Lake and offers a great view of the dam and the (GORGEOUS) Mirror Lake Waterfall. You'll also see the ruins of the old mill just below the falls. In the same area, there's a short, paved, accessible walkway to a breathtaking waterfall that flows from Blanchard Springs Caverns. Follow your GPS directions to Blanchard Springs. Then follow the directional signs to Mirror Lake on the right.
Best family hike
If you're up for a 4-miler, check out the White River Bluff Trail. This fun, moderately challenging loop delivers big views of the White River. Just off Green Mountain Road near Angler's and JoJo's off Hwy 5, you'll park in the trailhead parking lot and take the "orange" loop. There are multiple trailheads from this lot. The GREEN loop you'll use to reach the bluff views is in the corner nearest Green Mtn. Rd. Look for the trail markers. Lots of folks advise spraying for ticks on this one since much of the trail is wooded.
Best waterfall hike
Steele Falls Trail is a 2.5-mile, out-and-back trail that takes you to a stunning 60-foot tall waterfall. It's tricky to get to, and it's not well marked. But trust me, it's worth the effort to get there. The trail follows an abandoned forest service road to West Livingston creek. There, it crosses the creek and heads up the ravine to the waterfall, which is fed by three springs. See the directions in the link above. When you get near the trailhead, watch for a gate next to a white sign with a big letter A on it. (The sign is posted on a tree.) You'll thank me later.
Best section hike
Ready for a challenge? The North Sylamore Trail is a 22-mile point-to-point hike broken down into these five sections by campgrounds and other access points:
- Allison: Mile 0
- Blanchard Springs Recreation Area: Mile 4.7
- Gunner Pool Recreation Area: Mile 10
- Barkshed Recreation Area: Mile 14
- Cole Fork Road primitive trailhead: Mile 18.6
- Primitive trailhead at Cripple Turkey Road: Mile 23*
*This trailhead is also at the junction of the Ozark Highlands Trail.
The North Sylamore Trail follows Sylamore Creek and takes you up and down ridges and bluffs. The climbs can be challenging, but you'll be rewarded with so many beautiful views. This trail is gorgeous all year round. Every season reveals a different aspect of its beauty. One of my favorite sections is from Blanchard Springs to Gunner Poolnce to Blanchard, follow the road all the way 'til you see the creek, and park in the lot to the left by the large pavilion. The trailhead is behind the bathrooms.
I hope you love these trails as much as I do. And if you don't, no worries. They come with a money-back guarantee. ;) Happy trails, y'all!