Caney Creek Wilderness

The Basics

Caney Creek Wilderness
Ouachita National Forest
Polk Co, Arkansas

Phone: (479) 394-2382 (Mena District Office)

Closest Towns: Dierks, Langley, Mena, Vandervoort

Directions: West Caney Trailhead: From Mena, head East on AR Hwy 8 about a mile to AR Hwy 375, and Turn Right. Follow Hwy 375 approx. 11.7 miles, then Turn Right onto CR#81. Follow CR#81 approx. 2.9 miles, then Turn Left onto CR#79. Follow this road 2 miles to the parking area on your right.

East Caney Trailhead: From US Hwy 71 at Vandervoort, head East on AR Hwy 246 about 24 miles, then Turn Left onto FR#38/Shady Lake Rd. Follow this road (past Shady Lake Rec Area) for approx. 7.3 miles to the parking area on your Left.

Buckeye Trailhead: Follow the same direction to the East Caney Trailhead, but continue up the road another mile to the Buckeye Trailhead on your Left.

About Caney Creek

Situated in the southern edge of the Ouachita National Forest, the Caney Creek Wilderness preserves over 14,000 acres of very scenic country along Caney Creek and some of the upper watershed of the Cossatot River. Along with scenic vistas, this area also offers specatcular spring and fall colors. Caney and Short Creeks follow across this wilderness area before dumping into the Cossatot River, and are separated by steep ridges that offers stunning views.

Three trails offer access into this rugged wilderness. The Caney Creek Trail travels east and west all the way across the area, and offers a trailhead parking area at either end. The Buckeye Trail begins on the eastern edge, climbs atop Buckeye Mountain, and then eventually drops down to join the Caney Creek Trail. The Buckeye and Caney Creek Trails, along with a short hike along FR#38, offer a 9.5 mile loop. A third trail, beginning outside the wilderness area at Shady Lake Recreation Area, travels through the wilderness area's south side and climbs its way towards the top of Tall Peak, located just outside the wilderness area boundary, and where a restored lookout tower stands.

Two beautiful waterfalls are also located within the wilderness area; Katy Falls and Trailhead Falls.


Buckeye Trail | Caney Creek Trail | Katy Falls | Tall Peak Trail |
Trailhead Falls

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