Whitaker Point Trail

Hwy 43 South to Hwy 21 South, Boxley Valley
Ponca, AR 72670

If Buffalo River lovers were pressed to name their favorite spot, well, this most scenic of Arkansas icons might just take first place. A journalist once placed it in her "Best Places in Arkansas to Get Kissed" travel article. Disney filmed the opening to "Tuck Everlasting" here. We can't begin to count the number of proposals and nupitials this aged, craggy rock as seen. World-class photographers have sought to capture it in the prime of every season. But, for all its fame, Whitaker Point is still "the people's place." Where one can do some soul searching, hang out with old buds and even meet some new ones, introduce the family to their first sight of that inspiring rock or, simply, just dwell and be. Whatever your motive to be there, the rock does not disappoint. Nor does the trail along the way, as it is flush with wildflowers and a pretty waterfall area in the spring, then graced with the bright oranges and reds of turning maple leaves in the fall. Even in summer, one can hike the trail and enjoy the view over Buffalo River country that awaits at trail's end. This is a good trail to pack a couple of bottled waters per person, as folks tend to linger along the way and at the crag. A hearty snack is also in order. And a camera is a must, especially if this is your first time to visit Whitaker Point. The best time to photograph the crag is early in the morning (the photo at right was taken about 6:15 AM---not kidding!) or mid- to late afternoon, once the sun is behind you. About half-way to the crag you'll cross a wet-weather creek where you can choose to go left or right, either of which direction will take you to the crag. Most folks go to the right, where the trail follows the creek for a bit, then turns left at a waterfall ledge. In early to mid-April, watch for shooting star and fire pink growing along the creek. At the bluffline, look for pink mountain azalea and white umbrella magnolia blossoms to appear later in the month and into early May. At this ledge, the trail now turns and follows the bluffline all the way to the crag. It is quite scenic and there are places that beg you to sit and enjoy the view, even though your final destination is still about 1/3 of a mile ahead. PLEASE BE CAREFUL in this area. A bluffline can be a pretty thing, but also a dangerous one. We cannot stress enough the importance of remaining cautious and staying back from sheer drop offs, as well as keeping a vigilent eye on children, even teenagers. You'll know Whitaker Point when you see it. Take a few moments to appreciate its grandeur at a distance before hiking on around and stepping out onto the lofty perch it affords.
Images provided by AmericanTowns.com, Ticketmaster
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