The Goat Trail

March 1, 2016 § Leave a comment

Dan Holtmeyer is a kind man, a smart journalist, and talented photographer. These shots from a hike in the Buffalo National River area have so much texture! Wood smoothed by the hands of hikers, wind and water. Landscapes shaggy with bare branches and green cedars. I think my own hike in Arkansas is in order…


IMG_2249Buffalo National River’s bluffs, the 500-foot walls of sandstone and limestone that run along much of the river’s length, seem to shepherd the meandering turquoise water. Most of the time, hikers and kayakers can see the bluffs only from above or on the water. But there’s one trail that turns right onto a bluff’s face: the Goat Trail.

Officially this trail got its name from the feral goats that have been spotted nearby, but it also might have something to do with the mountain goat-like steadiness, not to mention comfort with heights, a hiker needs to reach the bluff at its end. Outdoors writer Flip Putthoff recently promised a spectacular view there and said winter was the best time to see it, so I took a shot at it Sunday for my first-ever trip to the Buffalo.

If you’re not on the water, getting to the bluffs means going down bluffs…

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