Hike this moderate out-and-back trail featuring cascading waterfalls, massive boulders and sinkholes.

Big Spring Trail is located in Smith Creek Preserve just south of Boxley, Arkansas.  There is a small parking area at the entrance. Detailed maps of the area provided by The Nature Conservancy can be found just past gate.

Walk through the gate and begin your hike with a steady decline down the service road.  You’ll soon reach a fork in the road leading to Elise Falls. Keep straight at the fork and continue down the service road.

Once at the bottom you’ll cross a small footbridge.  There is a small picnic area with a fire ring to the right.  Crossing the creek to the left will lead to Lower Creek Trail and Upper Trail.  For this hike continue straight on Big Spring Trail.

Follow the trail upstream and feel free to explore around along the way!  Several spur trails lead down to the cascading water. Massive boulders line the creek and are peppered along the trail.  Smith Creek Preserve also contains multiple sinkholes. Sinkhole areas are roped off and can be seen on the map. Make sure to keep a safe distance!

The trail ends at Big Spring.  From here simply retrace your steps back to the trailhead.   

Pack List

  • Hiking Boots/Sandals
  • Camera
  • Tripod
  • Snacks/Water
Show More
RT Distance 5.5 Miles
Elevation Gain 500 Feet
Activities Chillin, Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Picnic Area
River
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildflowers

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Nearby Adventures

More Nearby Adventures

Hike to Sweden Creek Falls

Proceed to Sweden Creek Falls Natural Area near Kingston, Arkansas. Find somewhere to park near the gate along the dirt road. The trailhead is located beside the gate.

225 Saves

Backpack Along Whitaker Creek

After arriving at the Whitaker Point/Hawksbill Crag trailhead, start going down the path for about 1/8th of a mile. You’ll cross a small stream, and here is where you’ll turn off the trail.

239 Saves

Hike to Hawksbill Crag

This is one of the most popular hiking spots in all of Arkansas. However, doing the hike early in the morning provides one of the best places of all time to watch a sunrise.

818 Saves