Monday, January 13, 2014

Point Peter Mountain Trails - Buffalo National River

Today I tried to explore some lesser known trails inside the Buffalo River National Park boundaries.  The Point Peter area, on the east side of Richland Valley, south of Woolum, is accessible only by improved dirt road, but has some fantastic views of Searcy County, Richland Creek, and the National Park.  We attempted to find and hike 3 primitive trails along Richland Rd./Searcy Co. 12 and on the first pass, we were able to find one and hike part of it. With more careful searching we found the other two, and hiked part of one of those.

The area appeared to have suffered from ice and/or wind damage in recent history and the trails have not been cleared, making them difficult to find and follow and rough to hike on. On the positive side, the ice, wind, and evident fire have given the area a special feel, leaving an open forest of stunted irregularly formed pines and hickories.

All three trails appeared to be old road beds and the trail to Point Peter Mountain follows a maintained dirt road for the first half.  The map below shows the trails we looked for.  Red indicates a trail we didn't hike and blue shows sections we did.

The easternmost and highest of the three trails was the easiest to find and the easiest to follow (at least initially).  It also had the best views, though the middle trail might have had nice views of the Buffalo at the end.  I hope to return in the early spring or fall and take in the scenery while searching for the trail or just following the bluff line to the northern tip of Point Peter Mountain.

If you are looking for easier to locate hiking in the area, the Ozark Highlands Trail and Buffalo River Trail pass nearby.

More Specific Location Information for Point Peter Trail Trailheads:
The highest, easternmost trail:  Easy to spot, park at gate near Point Peter Rd. sign.
35.919067, -92.866135

The longer, middle trail: A little downhill from the big bend in the road when heading west from Point Peter Rd.  There is a small pullout area and look for signs of an old road bed.  35.927685, -92.873699

The short, westernmost trail: Near a powerline crossing.  35.925526, -92.876520
Old Rock Walls on Point Peter Mountain

View from East Side of Point Peter Mountain (Rollins Point).
The power line would make a great zipline!

View of Richland Valley from Point Peter Mountain - Johnnie Chamberlin
View of Richland Valley from Point Peter Mountain

View of Richland Valley from Point Peter Mountain

A Common Sight Along These Trails

View Point Peter Area Trails in a larger map


  1. The photos remind me in a way of Petit Jean and Mt. Magazine views. Probably this is an area more folks would like if they visited it.

  2. John, this is an area that I am very familiar with. I used to be a Q.C. Reviewer for the state and I had to go see a lady that lived close to there. From where you left Peter Point Road to see the trails, you just keep going on down to Richland Creek. You will come to a T. Turn left and go aways and have to ford the creek. Then go a ways and ford it again which puts you on the east side of the creek. You will see a very short road to the south which dead ends. That is where the lady lived. She saw bears and coyotes and used to hear wolves down on the creek. She could not keep chickens even in a pen due to the bears and foxes and coyotes. I got my brakes wet crossing the creek twice and almost ran into her house and just missed it and ended up running over some of her bushes and flowers beside her house. She was very nice but scared when I backed all the way back to her driveway. Thought I was a drunk. She invited me back to camp in her yard by Richland Creek to hear the sounds at night. I never went back. She had a room full of canned goods. She said her son lived on the hill next to her and he had a tractor and would pull me out of the creek if I needed him too when I left her home. LOL

    1. Visited last fall trying to find the Christy Family Cemetery but had no luck and was not given any good info from the Park Service. Do you know how to find this cemetery? Or would you have any contacts that might help me locate the Cemetery?

  3. Sorry, but if you look on your topo above and see Victory Road and see under it a number 12. Look at about 4 o'clock and that is the short road which was her drive way. thanks